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Armenia's Ruling Party Criticizes EU-Backed Domestic Violence Bill

An October 17 hearing, organized by the Armenian parliament's Standing Committee on European Integration, on domestic violence legislation. Armenia's ruling party has expressed criticism of the bill, which has been backed by the European Union. (photo: parliament.am)

Armenia's ruling party has criticized a draft bill aimed at preventing domestic violence, and the government has said it will amend the legislation to address the concerns. But observers say the bill -- which has become a lighting rod for clashing values and geopolitical wrangling in Armenia -- is still likely to pass, if in a weakened form.

Eduard Sharmazanov, the deputy speaker of parliament and spokesman for the ruling Republican Party of Armenia, told media on November 1 that he has a number of problems with the legislation. For one, he argued that the provisions for “psychological violence” and “economic violence” are ill-defined. 

“Tell me, what is psychological violence?” he asked, according to RFE/RL. “If my [underage] daughter or my son says that he or she wants to smoke and I don’t let them do that, will they be able to say that ‘my dad subjects me to psychological violence?’”

He also suggested that the bill contravened biblical teachings about the role of women vis-a-vis men. 

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Armenia's Ruling Party Criticizes EU-Backed Domestic Violence Bill

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