A group of intellectuals, human rights activists, representatives of parliamentary forces and members of the initiative calling for punishment for those guilty in the Harsnakar incident gathered outside the parliament building in Yerevan, demanding that lawmakers convene an extraordinary sitting on the Harsnakar case.
"Vahe Avetyan's death is merely a branch of a tree whose roots go deeper into the earth. The roots were set in 2001 with the murder of Poghos Poghosyan," said Zaruhi Postanjyan, an MP from the Heritage party.
She welcomed the initiative of four extra-coalition parties that are trying to collect 44 signatures to convene a special sitting on the case. At the same time she advised the MPs of the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), who are currently on vacation outside Armenia, to express their support for the move in a letter.
Human rights activist Artur Sakunts says the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) is to satisfy the demand of the initiative group and convene a special sitting, otherwise ‘the HHK will prove that it sponsors [Harsnakar owner] Ruben Hayrapetyan and all crimes committed by the bodyguards of oligarchs.'
The human rights activist says that [BHK Leader] Gagik Tsarukyan could gather his party MPs within 30 minutes and make them sign the move.
"They fear lest two oligarchs may come into conflict," he said.
Three military doctors, who visited the Harsnakar restaurant on June 17, were brutally beaten during a brawl with the security guard. One of them, Vahe Avetyan, died of severe head wounds on June 29 without regaining consciousness. The incident sparked public outrage, with civic activists, opposition members, media representatives and ordinary citizens demanding to prosecute Hayrapetyan. Hundreds of people have demonstrated outside Harsnakar and government buildings in Yerevan in recent weeks to demand a thorough and objective probe. As a result of mounting public uproar, Hayrapetyan resigned from the National Assembly on July 3 but his authorities will be suspended after the parliament returns from holiday.