Armenian Activists Lose Suit Against Newspaper That Named “Homosexual

“Hate speech and homophobia [are] highly sponsored by high level
officials of Armenia,” said activists denouncing the decision.
posted on Oct. 31, 2014, at 9:25 a.m.
J. Lester Feder
BuzzFeed News World Correspondent

Illustration from the Iravunk article, “They serve the interests of
international homosexual lobbying: the blacklist of country’s and
nation’s enemies.” / Via

A court in the Armenian capital of Yerevan dismissed a suit on Friday
against the editor of a newspaper who published an article in May
naming more than 50 “homosexual lobbyists” as part of a “blacklist of
[the] country’s and nation’s enemies.”

The suit was brought by 16 of those named, including Mamikon
Hovsepyan, head of the LGBT organization PINK Armenia. The article
called for the people named to be ostracized and fired from their
jobs. The initial article – which was followed by several others –
came as the Armenian government had decided to withdraw from the
process of affiliating with the European Union and announced that it
would join the Russian-dominated Customs Union.

In a statement denouncing the decision, Hovsepyan suggested that
members of the ruling Republican Party had signalled to the court that
it should rule in favor of Hovhannes Galajyan, editor of the newspaper
Iravunk. MP Hayk Babukhanyan, who founded the newspaper and owns its
parent company, attended the trial and received a medal of honor from
the Armenian president on October 25.

“We believe that high level support of official reflected on the
decision of the Court and this shows once more that hate speech and
homophobia is highly sponsored by high level officials of Armenia, and
this creates atmosphere of impunity, gives floor for hate crime and
fascism in the country,” Hovsepyan said in a statement.