Hunanyan was born in 1965 in Yerevan. He graduated from the Department of Philology of Yerevan State University. In 1988 he became an active participant of the Armenian national liberation movement and was one of the founders of the Alliance of Armenian Students. He was a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation. Later he founded and managed the Horizon information agency. From 1994 to 1997 he lived in Crimea, Ukraine, teaching the Armenian language at a school in Yevpatoria. He returned to Armenia in 1997.
On October 27, 1999, he, along with four other gunmen, entered the Parliament, killed the prime minister Vazgen Sargsian, parliamentary speaker Karen Demirchian and six other officials. In his statement, Nairi Hunanyan accused the government of leading Armenia into political and economic ruin. The attackers surrendered on October 28. The five gunmen were later each sentenced to eight life sentences.
- The Statement of Nairi Hunanyan, Head of the Armed Group of Terrorists, internews.am, accessed February 2009
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