Foreign national suspected in arson attack on Yerevan synagogue– Investigative Committee


YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 17, ARMENPRESS. On , the Investigative Committee of Armenia initiated a criminal investigation into the incident involving the setting fire to the doors of the sole synagogue in Yerevan.

''On November 15, 2023, the police received a call that at about 06:00  an unknown individual caused material damage by setting fire to the entrance doors of the building located at 23 Nar-Dos Street in Yerevan.

During the preliminary investigation, the scene of the incident was investigated and a number of persons were questioned. 

To assess the extent of property damage, a relevant examination was initiated. As part of the preliminary investigation of the criminal case, it was confirmed that the structure at the mentioned address is a building intended for Jewish religious purposes.

Factual information reveals that the individual responsible for the aforementioned actions does not live in Armenia and is not a citizen of the Republic of Armenia. According to the obtained data, the individual reportedly left the territory of the Republic of Armenia immediately after committing the aforementioned criminal act.

Information was received that the perpetrator recorded these criminal acts on a video camera. Upon reviewing the video footage and considering other factual circumstances, it was determined that the individual committed an apparent crime involving the destruction or damage of cultural property with the intent of inciting racial, national, ethnic, and religious hatred.

The specified video footage was disseminated on Azerbaijani Telegram channels, and the same video was also published on the social media platform "X."
According to the information provided, considering that the preliminary investigation yielded data containing characteristics of the damage to cultural assets, including data containing features of damage to a building of religious or ritual significance, a new criminal proceeding has been initiated under Art. 264.2.2 (Property destruction or damage committed by arson, explosion or other publicly dangerous method ) and Art. 146 (destroying or damaging cultural property in order to provoke racial, national, ethnic or religious hatred)  of the Criminal Code of the Republic ofArmenia.

The received materials have been sent to the investigative department of the National Security Service of Armenia for further investigation,''  the Investigative Committee said in a statement.