A civil initiative demanding just punishment for Ruben Hayrapetyan, the owner of Yerevan-based Harsnakar restaurant, says they are not going to stop their struggle following Hayrapetyan's resignation as a National Assembly deputy.
"Hayrapetyan's resignation was one of our key demands but it is not enough. By this step, Hayrapetyan evidently admitted his guilt in the June 17 crime, which resulted in the death of military doctor Vahe Avetyan. But we want him to admit his guilt in court as well," says David Sanasaryan, a member of the civil initiative demanding punishment of all the culprits in the Harsnakar incident.
Mr Sanasaryan believes that Hayrapetyan would not have waived his mandate, but for the public uproar over the tragic incident.
"Only thanks to public pressure we were able to achieve results, as was in the case of Mashtots Park [where environmentalists and civil activists protested for 40 days against illegal construction of trade kiosks]. Therefore, I say that it is important to awaken and increase public awareness of environmental issues, human rights and national problems. And if there is public pressure, there will surely be positive results," he said.
David Sanasaryan is hopeful that Ruben Hayrapetyan will be involved in the Harsnakar case otherwise he says there will be a new and might wave of protest.
"We regularly gather to discuss our strategy and decide future steps of the civil initiative. We shall take serious measures when we see them trying to dismiss or smother the case," he said.
On June 17, military surgeon Vahe Avetyan was mercilessly beaten up at Harsnakar restaurant owned by Ruben Hairapetyan, President of the Football Federation of Armenia, ex-MP of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). Despite doctors' efforts to save his life, the 33-year-old father of two children died in hospital twelve days later without regaining consciousness.