Difference between revisions of "Ashot Makaryan"

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IN YEREVAN   
 
IN YEREVAN   
  
By Suren Deheryan & Suren Musayelyan
+
By Suren Deheryan
ArmeniaNow reporters 
 
 
 
Parents in a north suburban community of Yerevan are concerned about their
 
children's safety after a schoolboy's violent death has given rise to rumors
 
about further killings or kidnappings.
 
 
Ashot Makaryan, 14, an eighth-former of school N 197 in Yerevan's 9th Nork
 
district was found hanged on September 6 under the `Victory' bridge (in the
 
Hrazdan gorge, some 15 kilometers from his home). According to police
 
information, the boy's hands were tied, though not tightly.
 
 
 
(Though the boy was found two weeks ago, it was only this week that news of
 
his death began to circulate amid gossip throughout the city. Rumors spread
 
that messages had been attached to the body, and that there had been previous
 
but undisclosed similar cases.)
 
 
 
A murder investigation has been launched by the Prosecutor's Office of
 
Yerevan's Malatia-Sebastia community (who haven't ruled out suicide as a cause
 
of death).
 
 
 
Since the beginning of school this academic year Ashot attended school only
 
once - on September 5, the day before he was found dead. Before that,
 
according to Headmistress of School N 197 Varsenik Tadevosyan, from September
 
1 to September 3, he was at his grandmother's residence in Echmiadzin.
 
 
 
News of his death was followed by anonymous phone calls and messages to
 
parents of children attending different schools with threats to their
 
children's security: `Yours will be next to die' and the like.
 
 
 
Rumors and exaggerated accounts of the boy's death have spread across the city
 
causing alarm, with nearly every schoolchild, student or parent becoming
 
security-minded.
 
 
 
Thirty-year-old mom-of-two Gohar Darbinyan's son went to school this year. She
 
says that different rumors about kidnappings of children had reached her and
 
other parents recently and these alleged kidnappings are linked with different
 
religious sects.
 
 
 
`Those parents who have children of school age know about these rumors. My
 
child's teacher has specially warned the class today that if somebody's parent
 
was late to pick him or her from school, they should stay close to her,' says
 
the Nor Nork resident Darbinyan.
 
 
 
On Monday, the press service of Armenia's Police categorically denied the
 
rumors about other killings or suicides.
 
 
 
`These rumors are absolutely groundless and false and do not correspond to
 
reality,' the press service of the Police said in a statement.
 
 
 
Headmistress Tadevosyan treats these anonymous threats as `evil jokes' and
 
pranks and says they are determined not to let similar speculations affect the
 
schooling process.
 
 
 
`Two parents of our schoolchildren received anonymous threats after the
 
incident. Of course, with the spread of such rumors there is a tension among
 
parents and some of them accompany their children to the school. But in any
 
case the educational process is continuing and there is nothing to worry
 
about,' Tatevosyan told ArmeniaNow.
 
 
 
The situation was enough to warrant a meeting of school headmasters of the Nor
 
Nork community with the local prefect yesterday, during which it was learned
 
that similar signs of panic were registered in several other schools of the
 
community.
 
 
 
The Ministry of Education and Science says it is an individual case and all
 
the rest is only rumors that have nothing to do with reality. Ministry
 
spokesperson Karine Grigoryan says that the Ministry has not undertaken any
 
special measures to tighten school security.
 
 
 
`Providing security in schools has always been in the center of the Ministry's
 
attention. We don't think that security in schools needs to be strengthened
 
today, as in our opinion it is organized well,' Grigoryan said.
 
 
 
She advises parents not to take similar rumors seriously and not to keep their
 
children back from school.
 
 
 
Both Tadevosyan and Ashot's form-mistress Mariam Hovhannisyan describe Ashot
 
as a clever boy, who, however, did not have close friends among his fellow
 
pupils.
 
 
 
`He would run home immediately after school. He didn't eat at our canteen, did
 
not participate in our events. Twice I managed to talk him into participating
 
in an event together with his fellow students,' says Hovhannisyan, adding that
 
at the same time he had the fewest number of absences, had an average progress
 
as a student and nothing extraordinary was noticed about him.
 
 
 
Meanwhile, Ashot's mother, 42-year-old housewife Karine Makaryan, describes
 
her son as a lively boy.
 
 
 
`Teachers say that he didn't mix with other children, but at home he was a
 
very merry boy,' says the mother. `Ashot's murder - and I have no doubt it was
 
a murder - was a great shock to us all that we haven't quite overcome yet.'
 
 
 
Makaryan says that she and her husband Khachatur rely on police to find those
 
responsible for the death of their son. `Only in that case will we feel
 
certain satisfaction. I felt shocked during those days and I don't want any
 
other parent to feel the same.'
 
 
 
She adds that the boy was not connected with any religious organization and
 
they had no one among acquaintances who was connected to one.
 
 
 
Karine's other son, Arshavir, is a tenth-former in another school in the same
 
area. He started to attend school this week.
 
 
 
`We are determined to struggle to the end until this murder is disclosed to
 
put an end to the circulating rumors and for the parents and children in our
 
community to feel safe again,' says Karine.
 
 
 
Meanwhile, Ashot's teachers are still coming to terms with his absence when
 
they come to N12 in their register. The boy would have turned 15 on November
 
8. His mother says he had wanted to pursue a military career.
 
 
 
{{armenianow}}
 
 
 
[[Category:Armenian Individuals|Makarian, Ashot]]
 

Revision as of 19:13, 10 April 2007

Issue #36 (158), September 23, 2005 | www.armenianow.com

TRAGIC DEATH FUELS CARELESS GOSSIP: RUMORS OVER TEENAGER'S HANGING SPREAD FEAR IN YEREVAN

By Suren Deheryan