Swastikas riddled the walls of the DIY Rock Pub in Yerevan, Armenia last week. Early Tuesday evening, a group of young men arrived at the popular, lesbian-owned bar and set fire to a “No to Fascism” poster, then vandalized the premises with Nazi symbols.
This is the second time DIY has been targeted. Arsonists set the property ablaze on May 8 with a petrol bomb hurled through the bar’s window. DIY is known as a gathering spot for members of Armenia’s LGBT community and other “alternative thinkers.”
Gay Star News reports that police took 12 hours to respond to the attacks. Two young men were arrested after authorities reviewed the bar’s CCTV footage. Both suspects were released within a few hours.
“The arson attack on the pub had been committed by members of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation [a left-wing nationalist party],” claims Tsomak Oganezova, the owner of DIY. One suspect’s bail was paid by two prominent ARF members.
Said Oganezova, “Everything started the day when Yerkir Media TV channel interviewed me, because I had participated in a gay parade in Turkey.”
Ianyan Mag, an Armenian news blog, reports that Oganezova issued a statement via Facebook that she is leaving Armenia because of the attacks. “[We will] continue to solve this problem, to move forward and make sure [the perpetrators] are punished for what they did,” she wrote. “[Then] I’m going far away … Iím going to be with those like me, I’ll go fight for and with those like me.”
Thankfully, no one has been hurt in the attacks, but damage to the property is estimated to be upwards of $4,000 USD. Supporters are gathering donations and organizing a charity concert to help cover the costs of repair.
Watch CCTV footage of the May 8 attack in the video below:
Image captured from YouTube video