Protesters gather at Armenian consulate in Glendale

Dozens of people protested outside the Armenian consulate in Glendale Friday, demanding that a former member of Parliament in the Armenian capitol of Yerevan be prosecuted for his alleged role in the beating death of an army doctor.

The beating of 33-year-old army doctor Vahe Avetyan and three colleagues June 17 at a restaurant has sparked worldwide outrage among members of the Armenia diaspora, particularly after Avetyan died of his injuries weeks later.

The owner of the restaurant, Ruben Hayrapetyan, resigned his parliamentary post earlier this month amid the ensuing fallout and accusations that the perpetrators of the beating were his current or former bodyguards. Now that he’s lost his government immunity, protesters want him prosecuted, although police in Yerevan have said he was not at the restaurant at the time.

According to local media reports, he released a statement apologizing for the brutal attack at his restaurant.

“I can’t forgive myself and I don’t know how to ask for forgiveness,” Hayrapetyan said in his resignation letter, published in the Armenian Weekly. “I would have given anything to be there on that ominous night, to grab the fists that hit those young men, and to stop this tragedy that stole a life, destroyed families, and left children orphaned.”

The demonstration in Glendale on Friday was the second in as many weeks.

-- Jason Wells, Times Community News

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