Crime in Armenia
Crime in Armenia is multi-dimensional. It includes murder, political murder, contract killing, tax evasion, corruption, extortion, money laundering, police brutality, organized crime, and clan or gang violence.
During the first ten months of 2008, crime in Armenia's capital Yerevan rose nearly 14 percent from the same period in 2007, while the rate of crime detection went down. 3,857 crimes were registered in Yerevan during this period, up by 462 compared to 2007. The rate of crime detection in the cases under investigation was 56.8 percent, down from 61.4 percent.
Crime by type
Organized crime permeates the Armenian economy. Yerevan is controlled by a set of organized, criminal clans known as "akhperutyuns" (Armenian: ախբերություն, or brotherhoods). They assert their power through their position and connections. The various factions sometimes battle for rights over their "turf". The origins of akhperutyuns are criminal law and the tradition of Armenian family life (ojakh). Members are guided by the underworld laws brought from Russian prisons.
According to a 2008 study by Amnesty International, more than a quarter of women in Armenia "have faced physical violence at the hands of husbands or other family members." Since reporting domestic violence is heavily stigmatized in Armenian society, many of these women have no choice but to remain in abusive situations.
- Yerevan Police Report Rise in Crime in 2008, Armenia Liberty (RFE/RL), November 19, 2008.
- Ishkhanyan, Vahan (March 3, 2006). "Mean Streets: A rare look at Armenia’s Capital clans". ArmeniaNow. Retrieved June 30, 2009.
- There’s no pride in silence: domestic and sexual violence against women in Armenia, Amnesty International, November 13, 2008
- "Strengthening Cooperation between the National Assembly, Civil Society and the Media in the Fight Against Corruption", Speech by Ms. Consuelo Vidal, (UN RC / UNDP RR), April 6, 2006.