Response stories

A test of strength: fighting for truth and justice in Armenia

In early 2024, Sergo (name changed) met a man on Telegram (a dating group for members of the LGBTIQ community) who offered to meet him. Having decided to do so, the guy went to the meeting. Afterward, leaving the car, he left his belongings there. But even when Sergo ran after the car to stop it, the stranger continued driving.

The next morning Sergo went to the police, fearing to confess to law enforcement officials that he had met the stranger through Telegram. During interrogation, they began accusing him of not serving in the army and mocking his HIV-positive status. When the conversation about a possible cab started, Sergo was forced to tell the truth that it was a meeting after meeting on Telegram. As a result, he was intimidated, threatened with criminal prosecution for untruthful statements, and was not allowed to leave the police station. Also, the police officers checked the guy’s phone and contacted his mother and other relatives. 

After seeking help from the REActor, the client was advised to contact a lawyer, who sent a warning to the office of the Human Rights Defender. With the support of this office, Sergo left the police station. Further, the lawyer contacted the police department and the pressure on Sergo stopped and a preliminary investigation of the criminal case was initiated based on his statement.

Also read:

“I have my right to work”: the resilience of a person living with HIV working in a hospital in North Macedonia

Combating violence against women in Tajikistan: a path to change