Spitting, Brawling and Armenian Politics

A debate has been raging amongst Armenians after Parliament Speaker Alen Simonyan was accused on Sunday of spitting in the face of a member of the general public after he was heckled and called a “traitor.” According to media reports, Garen Megerdicihian, a Canadian-Armenian, claimed that after heckling the speaker, Simonyan’s security team was ordered to grab Megerdichian, after which Simonyan cussed at him and spat in his face. The incident which sparked widespread outrage online has also sparked a debate about the limits of free speech, the level of civil discourse and the hypocrisy of the country’s various political forces.