Published Dec 30, 2010Emo kids have it pretty tough. A couple years back, we reported that members of the misery-obsessed subculture were being persecuted in Mexico. Now, emo kids in Armenia are also being targeted, as the police are reportedly attempting to crack down on anyone with a penchant for angsty music and iron-straight black hair.
According to a report by France24 [via Punknews], police have been getting tough on the emo community in Yerevan, Armenia. This comes after the recent suicides of teenagers alleged to be emo fans.
In a recent interview, Armenian chief of police Alik Sarkisian said that the musical subculture could "damage our gene pool" and that it was "morally harmful to our people."
Police have entered schools and searched the homes of students identified as possible emo fans. They have also begun surveillance at emo hang-outs. Unsurprisingly, this has struck a nerve in a nation that was formerly under Soviet rule.
According to Mikael Danielia of the human rights organization the Helsinki Committee of Armenia, "It is like the repression in Soviet times, when law enforcement agencies were chasing hippies, punks and rockers — all those who refused to live within society's limits and be like everyone else."
The persecution of emos doesn't end with the police. According to one Armenian emo fan named Ani, "They point and laugh at us. Or even worse, they sometimes beat up our boys."
With alleged emo-bashing like this taking place, it's not likely to give members of the subculture much of a reason to start listening to happier music.