Armenian Cabinet member verbally attacked at event on Istanbul Convention

Posted on August. 9. 2019

YEREVAN, ARMENPRESS. Armenia’s Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Zaruhi Batoyan has been verbally attacked by members of an NGO during a discussion on the Istanbul Convention, a document whose potential ratification has become the focus of domestic debates lately.
Batoyan said on Facebook that the meeting took place at the Central Office of the Global Youth Union of the Armenian Church.
Batoyan said she and Deputy Minister of Justice Kristine Grigoryan answered the questions of those in attendance during the 3,5 hour meeting.
But some of those in attendance, according to the minister, displayed aggressive and disrespectful behavior towards others and the government officials.
“As the inviting side was assuring, the purpose of the meeting was to create an arena for constructive and ideological discussion. I regret that members of the [Global Youth Union of the Armenian Church] are in warm relations with members of the well-known hate speech spreading Kamk organization and are tolerant for their behavior which is indecent for an Armenian citizen and a Christian. I also regret that no steps were taken on spot to prevent their indecent behavior, which was possible to expect. The situation eventually led to them making a personal public insult towards me at the end of the meeting,” Batoyan said.
She added that “as a Christian, I imagine the mission of a churchman and any structure linked to the church differently – without violence, ensuring an environment based on respect, not only denouncing and preventing violence but also condemnation that will not allow broad interpretations.”
“As a Cabinet member, I will remain committed to human rights principles and I will support all Armenian citizens in need of social protection, including women who have been subjected to violence.”
Baotyan said she plans to use constitutional guarantees to protect her dignity.

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