Over the last few weeks, reports from Yerevan indicated that police started targetting young people who look different from what they consider a ‘normal look’ and intimidating them, to put it mildly. Yesterday they went further and briefly detained 6-7 people, mainly girls, who they perceived to be part of “emo movement”. There are reports of police violence during detention. (Read also (RU) here and here)
ArmInfo: The press service of the police has told ArmInfo that the girls were detained by a group of police guards, who noticed that one of them was holding a "sharp piercing object." Later the policemen found one more object [this implying that the girls were frisked - edit.]. Presently, the police are identifying the detainees. The "sharp piercing object" was in fact a souvenir - a skull with two sword-like blunt-ended sticks. Such a souvenir can be found in many local shops but for the police it looked like a dangerous weapon. Following this logic, if you happen to buy a knife in a shop you may well spend night in a police department.This all began a month or two ago when quite a few Armenian media outlets started systematically publishing sensationalist articles and reports linking virtually all teenage or youth suicides in Armenia to emo. Needless to say that in most, if not all, cases, they had no evidence whatsoever to support their claims, except for wild speculations. “Слышал звон, да не знает, где он.” This was accompanied by highly publicised ‘angry students’ letter to authorities demanding the clean up of one particular downtown tunnel from traces of ‘emo graffiti’. The tone of that letter and media reports, followed by various interviews/press conferences mixing emo with the religious sects - you got the picture - created an image of emo teenager as a ‘threat to national security’. Familiar wording, isn’t it?
And how easy. Nobody cares why those young people commit suicides. Finally, they found an easy solution. A new ‘enemy of nation’. To ‘neutralise’.
ArmInfo: ArmInfo has already reported that the Armenian Police started serious operative measures aimed at identification and actual neutralization of teen-fans of the global informal movement and subculture EMO. A reliable source told ArmInfo that the Police leadership charged all the departments for minors to start operative measures and draft the list of all the EMO fans in the country. [...]
Однако, не смотря на то, что некоторые, в том числе и полицейские чины Армении, считают культуру <эмo> деструктивной до такой степени, что готовы идти на антиконституционные <профилактическиe> мероприятия против детей 12-17 летнего возраста, на самом деле это не так. "Эмо" само по себе не несет ничего плохого, а наоборот старается донести до людей идею, что помимо материальных ценностей в жизни человека должны быть и ценности духовные. Видимо это последнее обстоятельство и беспокоит власть предержащих, так как в корне противоречит насаждаемой в стране культуре погони за длинным рублем.
Конечно, как и в любом неформальном молодежном движении - хиппи 60-х или панки 80-х прошлого столетия, эмо - не без изъянов и крайностей разного характера, присущих детям трудного переходного возраста, но заниматься этим должны психологи и заниматься крайне тонко, чтоб не калечить психику детей. А проблема эта отдана на откуп тем, кто по долгу службы привык иметь дело с потенциальными уголовными элементами. Что из этого получится догадаться не сложно. Благодаря подобной <дальновидной> госполитике, мы завтра можем стать свидетелями случаев побоев, массовых избиений и насилий в отношений <эмо> со стороны <нормальных>, по версии государства, подростков.In reality, this is a pretty organised attack towards youth, or anyone for that matter, who look and behave differently, different from what is perceived to be ‘normal’, ‘acceptable’ look or behaviour.
I am trying to find words to describe police actions. Whatever comes to my mind is an understatement. On one hand, I am outraged. On the other hand, reading and hearing of ‘brave’ Armenian policemen ‘neutralising’ teenagers make me burst into laughing. That’s how ridiculous they look like. But as ArmInfo rightly pointed out, such actions could lead to much more tragic consequences by inciting hatred towards anyone who looks different...
I wanted to say that Stalinist methods are well and alive in Armenia, but it’s not just this. This is a perfect example of total degradation and stupidity of Armenian police and those who are in charge of it. Plus, their “вседозволенность”.
Not only what they do is unlawful, but they are pushing teenagers further deep underground, and risk created a contra-reaction that would be very difficult to deal with.
I AM SO EMO
Glad to see that many Armenian bloggers expressed their outrage with the police actions and solidarity with perceived or real emo followers. “I am emo” - statements you could read in a number of blogs (example).
With such actions, Armenian policemen made a total mockery of their profession. That Armenia police chief Alik Sargsyan is stupid is not news. That he & co totally lost their mind is a worrisome development. R.I.P., Armenian police.
*photo - Nazik Armenakyan / ArmeniaNow.com
Emo in Yerevan: Eccentric and emotional teenagers challenge society (ArmeniaNow)