February 23
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YEREVAN. – Police forced the homosexuals to report on gay high-rank officials and public figures, the 30 December, reads a cable of U.S. Embassy to Armenia, issued in 2003 and published on WikiLeaks.

“Despite new legislation that de-criminalized homosexuality in Armenia, societal discrimination remained an obstacle for homosexuals in 2003.  Members of the homosexual community told U.S. Embassy on December 24 that homosexuals continue to face intolerant attitudes and severe discrimination in rural areas and in the military.

Local human rights NGO said that cases of police harassment of homosexuals now involve blackmail and extortion rather than violence. Both noted, however, that the overall situation had improved and that cases of harassment had abated somewhat during the past year in Yerevan.

Chairman of the Helsinki Association, Mikail Danielyan reported that police officers continue to harass homosexuals in Armenia. He reported at least three cases in which police attempted to blackmail men by threatening to publicly expose them as homosexuals to their families and friends. Danielyan said that the nature of police harassment had changed during the past year.

Police officers now use less violent tactics but pressure homosexuals for information about homosexuals, especially married men, in high-ranking business or government positions from whom they can extort larger amounts of money,” the cable reads.

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