Armenian Isaura targeted by the mayor with no city

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Isaura Balasanyan, a 32-year-old mother of four children and a widow of a soldier, who was left homeless with her four children on the streets of Stepanakert, took her children on August 1 and tried to return to her former place of residence in Shushi.

The woman and the children were stopped by the Russian-Azerbaijani border guards and handed over to the Artsakh National Security Service. Isaura explained her extreme move by the fact that the mistress of the house where she lived had raised her rent to 150,000 drams a month, and she did not have the means to continue to live in that semi-basement apartment.

After the forced return, through the mediation of acquaintances, Isaura and her children were accommodated in a place called Jamalu, 2-3 km away from Khnatsakh village, in a house where there are no basic living conditions.

The woman told Forrights.am about what happened to her and her social problems, hoping that there would be people who would help her, sponsor the children, buy school supplies for them – notebooks, a backpack.

But, instead of helping, some media outlets have launched a defacing campaign against the vulnerable woman.

The electronic newspaper 1in.am e- targeted Isaura Balasanyan. Literally copying a few paragraphs of our publication, they then posted the assessments of the former mayor of Shushi Artsvik Sargsyan on the morality of the mother with four children. The former mayor blames the soldier’s widow in all the sins, saying that she is making a show, lying, that she had lovers, that’s why she was taken out of the rented house.

 “The landlord wrote in detail on the Internet that the neighbors said that men came and went to her house. They wrote that the matter reached the point when two lovers of the woman had a fight outside, and the landlord decided to evict her from the house,” the mayor said.

Then the same dirty linen was washed by the auroranews.am website. Receiving the pass from 1in.am, this media outlet copied the latter’s material, going even further by separating the sentence about poor Isaura’s lovers and making an intriguing title from it: “The thing is that the two lovers of that woman fought outside and the landlord decided to evict her from the house”.

Of course, these “coverage” of the moral image of a mother of four children cannot save the faces of the officials who pushed her to take the extreme step of taking her children and going home to Shushi, where Azeris live [is under Azeri control].

Former mayor Artsvik Sargsyan says that Isaura is not a native of Shushi, that she was renting a place in Shushi. But this cannot be an excuse, because Shushi was the city where Isaura lived happily with her children and this is the memory that took her back to Shushi.

The mayor of Shushi says that the state helped Isaura and gave her a house, but did not say that the house in the village of Khandzk in the Askeran region was a dilapidated building full of snakes; Isaura could not keep her children with snakes.

Personal stigmatizations are evident in these passionate floggings of the military widow, especially in references to her moral character.

It is clear that the former mayor (by the way, he still considers himself the mayor of Shushi, which is no longer under Armenia’s control) has a large share of responsibility for the actions of the mother with little children. The city mayor still works in the operative headquarters of Artsakh, receives the people of Shushi, participates in the organization of their social issues, and is obliged to do his job regardless of whether the beneficiaries have partners, lovers or spouses or not.

Isaura Balasanyan did not read the materials discrediting her in the Armenian press. She has no time. Her daily life is oversaturated. She walks the children to the school 2-3 km away from Jamalu, comes back, prepares food, and goes back to school to bring the children home.

P.S. We tried to ask the mayor of Shushi why he was spreading public insults toward the already injured woman, but when he heard Isaura Balasanyan’s name, he turned off his cellphone.

Syuzan Simonyan