Arsen Kharatyan, well known activist of pro-opposition Sksela and Hima youth movements, has been attacked today in Yerevan. He is son of Hranush Kharatyan, former head of the Department of National Minorities and Religious Affairs in the Armenian government, who was resigned after government’s violent 1st March crackdown on opposition following disputed presidential elections in Armenia.
According to Arsen Kharatyan, he was waiting near Vernisazh in central Yerevan to meet someone who during telephone calls presented himself as journalist from the “Life” magazine and asked for an interview.
Attackers approached him from behind and started beating him up. Arsen suffered head traumas. He was taken to the hospital, and his condition is reportedly satisfactory now. He already gave evidence to the police.
It is not yet clear whether this attack is connected with Arsen’s political activities, although as in any similar case suspicions will be there unless proved otherwise. However, in an interview with Radio Liberty Arsen Kharatyan directly linked this attack with his political and public activism. Hima youth movement released a statement considering this attack an attempt by the authorities to "create an atmosphere of fear in Armenia and halt the progress of popular movement".
*photo - via RFE/RL