A grandmother and her four grandchildren set themselves on fire

Friday, March 14, 2008
Photo and text from russianspy.org

A grandmother and her four grandchildren set themselves on fire outside the Presidential Residence in Yerevan, in an act related to the murder of a relative, ArmeniaNow reported today.

The five victims were taken to hospital. None of the injuries is believed to be life-threatening. Gyulizar Avdalyan, the grandmother is in worst condition, with burns over 15 percent of her body.

The children, ranging in age from 11-15 were burned mostly on their wrists and faces.


Wallace Reid said...

I have no idea how old this story is, but I had to post it because the of the photo. This is bizarre.

reading_is_dangerous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reading_is_dangerous said...

DEC. 7 2006 -- that's two years ago.

//Qyaram Avdalyan, 42, was brutally murdered in the village of Lchashen, Gegharquniq region on November 6. A 72-year old disabled shepherd is accused of the murder.


the family of the victim accuses another person of Qyaram’s murder.

“They accuse the Head of Lchashen village, with whom Qyaram had a disagreement concerning some lands he owned,” Tamoyan said.//

After the collapse of the Soviet Union (Armenia was a "Soviet Republic") followed a period of "privitization" which isn't completely over yet. For instance, a lot of land which used to be "collectively owned" by the villages are now being sold -- not always at market price. Selling the village land should require the approval and the signature of the village's leader who can pick the seller according to his own benefits -- a typical deal would involve two or three middlemen who get very little in exchange for their name lending, and some land worth $1-2 a square meter would end up being sold a few cents... before it is being put for sale again to some foreigner or diaspora Armenian who will buy the land for the highest price. With tens or hundreds of hectares of land involved, you can guess what happens... especially considering the financial status of the ordinary people in these villages... they survive with only a few chickens and a herd of sheep (if they are lucky) in an old house that is damp. There is no phone. Electricity is costly. No wood. Life is very harsh -- except for those who control whatever business there is left -- selling collective property is one.

I can very well imagine a village leader involved in a crime, and putting the blame on an old blind man of 70+ years old -- that's almost a "rational choice" when you think about it. Who's going to miss that old man?

The woman did. And she must have been very despaired to do what she did together with the children.

What a sad story. I wonder what is the follow up...

I'll ask.

Wallace Reid said...

On sunday evening, March 16 2008 this pic, and the site that provided it went dead.