Mother and Daughter are the Victims of the Horrifying Case Happened in Armenia

By Ani Torosyan

On the 5th of March, 2020, 43 year-old Marine Khachatryan and her daughter 13 year- old Nazeli Khachatryan were found severely beaten in their home in Gyumri, Armenia.  Marine died 8 hours after being beaten, and Nazeli was taken to Gyumri Medical Center in a critical condition. Perpetrator, 28 years old man is Marine Khachatyuan’s intimate partner.

Crime Scene

After beating first Mother, and then daughter, who has interfered during the fight, perpetrator ran away of the crime scene, but eight hours later he called an emergency. By the time when emergency arrived to the crime scene, Marine was already dead. After getting medical aid at Gyumri Medical Center, Nazeli  was referred to Surb Astvatsamayr Medical Center in Yerevan.

The news of this horrifying case spread all over the country and attracted attention of  Nikol Pashinyan, the Prime Minister of Armenia, who  visited Nazeli Khachatryan at the hospital. After  this visit Pashinyan  wrote on his Facebook page  an emotional  post condemning violence against women: “We all have to admit that Nazeli and her mother are the victims of the mentality that violence, especially violence against women can have justification.”

Nikol Pashinyan visiting Nazeli at Surb Astvatsamayr Medical Center

According to Nikolay Dallakyan, the director of Surb Astvatsamayr Medical Center, Nazeli got serious injuries: she had inner bleeding, multiple rib fractures, hemorrhage (a large flow of blood from a damaged blood vessel), broken jaw, and nose. More than 10 days Nazeli has been in intensive unit, after which she was getting better, she could breathe on her own and talk. 

Nazeli  at the intensive care unit

Marine Khachatryan’s husband died 5 years ago, in 2015. They had two children, Nazeli 13 year-old and her brother, who will turn 18 in September. Son didn’t support his mother’s relationship with the perpetrator, who was formerly convicted for 4 times for crime like hooliganism, stabbing, burning his ex- mother in-law’s house.  According to the Police, he experiences mental problems.

10 days have passed that Nazeli is at hospital but none of the relatives has visited her. During the interview given to CAYG, TV channel of Gyumri, her brother explains that now he is stressed and can not see Nazeli. According to him, everything started after his father’s death, and it is not the first case when his mother is being beaten. Once their aunt went to their house, saw them fighting, and suggested children to go and live with her, but  Nazeli refused to go.

Varsik Gevorgyan, Nazeli’s aunt say that she is sick and is not able to take care of the girl, but there are people who want to get guardianship of Nazeli.

According to Nelly Duryan, the Head of the Department on Protection of Juveniles' Rights and Combating Domestic Violence, during 2019, in Armenia 1834 cases of violence against women have been registered. In 2020 there are 13 cases  registered when the perpetrators committed the same crime right after releasing from prison.

 “The problem is that women not always turn to police in case of violence, they tolerate for maybe 9 times, and only then they will ask for help,” Duryan tells.

According to Duryan, there are some problems regarding the data categorization, for example, if the perpetrator is not a family member, the crime is not considered as a domestic violence case, but just violence against women. So in this case as the perpetrator was just Marine’s intimate partner, and not the husband, this cannot be considered as a domestic violence case.

According to Aida Muradyan, World Vision Armenia's child protection programs manager,  recent study conducted by World Vision found out the only tiny percent( 0.8% ) of  10 000 interviewed families  are  ready  to  speak up about  violence.

Marine Khachatryan was buried on 11th of March. None of her relatives came to her funeral, which was organized by the Municipality of Gyumri.

Perpetrator, 28-year-old man is now arrested.  His name is not exposed to the public, he doesn’t admit his guilt, and refuses giving testimony to the investigation. The preliminary investigation is still in process.  According to RA Criminal Procedure Code a person suspected or accused of an alleged crime is presumed innocent until his guilt is proven in accordance with the  established procedures  and  by a court judgment that has entered into force.