An Armenian woman has been arrested after footage showing physical and sexual violence against a minor by a woman and two other minors was spread online.
The video was published on Armenian Telegram channels on Friday. It appeared to show a woman abusing her own child, with the victim calling her ‘mum’.
The video starts with the woman making sure the camera films them, before starting to beat the child, stripping her, and inviting two other children, reportedly her siblings, to join in, using physical and sexual violence against the child.
The child beggs her mother to stop.
The video was widely spread online, drawing the public's and law-enforcement's attention. The Police announced early on Friday that the case was under investigation. Shortly after, the Interior Ministry said the woman had been summoned by police.
Armenia’s Human Rights Defender, Anahit Manasyan, stated that her office had began working on the case shortly after the footage was published online.
She urged the public not to share the video or any personal information about the child.
Local Armenian media identified the woman as Anna Arevshatyan, from the town of Gavar in Armenia’s Gegharkunik Province. According to Hetq, the family used to live in Gavar, then moved to Gyumri in northern Armenia, and eventually settled in Yerevan. The family reportedly has five children, with the parents involved in several criminal cases.
‘Some of the residents of Gavar, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Hetq that Tatul Madatyan (the father of the family) was convicted of raping his underaged daughter […] Residents say that he managed to get out after spending several months in prison, because the child's mother, Tatul Madatyan's wife, withdrew the complaint’, Hetq wrote.
Anna Arevshatyan was also sentenced to three months in prison in 2017 for perjury.
Local lawyers have said the woman could face a raft of charges, and up to 14–25 years in prison.