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Armenian soldier put in slavish position

20 November 2017 [17:42] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews


By Rashid Shirinov

For many years the social and economic situation in Armenia has been sorrowful, but the life of Armenian soldiers has been even worse than the life of ordinary citizens. Bullying, violence, hazing and constant humiliation of human dignity – all these are common for the Armenian army.

Soldiers get killed in the Armenian army, their cases are being stifled, innocent soldiers are condemned for imperfect crimes, and real criminals go unpunished – everyone knows this, says Ruben Martirosyan, Armenian human rights activist who deals with army problems.

“We cannot solve the problem at the root. Serzh Sargsyan said “Do whatever you want.” As a result, those who do destroy the army and have to take such wrong steps such as restricting the right to deferment,” the activist said in his interview with 1in.am.

Last week, the Armenian Parliament passed the bill that restricts Armenian students’ right to defer their military service. Under the new legislation, if a male student wants to continue his education and delay serving in the army, he will have to sign a contract with the Defense Ministry in order to get a draft deferment. In this case, the person will have to serve three instead of usual two years in the military after completing his studies at the location chosen by the ministry. Moreover, during his study period the student will have to undergo military training.

Martirosyan said the restriction of the right to deferment is a wrong step impeding the development of the state. “The Defense Ministry took this step because today no one wants to serve in the army due to the morals reigning there, and officials take out their children,” he added.

The hazing of army conscripts has a strikingly violent form in Armenian army. Soldiers who have undergone more than six-month service bully new conscripts, while those in their last six months are ‘senior’ soldiers who enjoy various privileges and higher states, including immunity from such treatment.

Moreover, these senior soldiers collect ‘taxes’ from other soldiers of a military unit with subsequent transfer of the collected money to the unit authorities. Those who do not want to comply with this rule become the subject of bullying and violence. Sometimes that ends with murder of such soldiers.

“I have information that when Serzh Sargsyan’s co-father-in-law was the head of the Central Medical Commission, corruption in the army distributed widely,” says Martirosyan. “Healthy conscripts were released from military service, and guys with health problems were called up instead of them. Everything was done to earn money. Now there is the same situation with some differences.”

The human rights activist noted that forced military service will lead to consequences both in the army itself and in the development of the country.

“Service in the army by force is fraught with many negative consequences – tension, conflict situations. Whereas everything should have been done the other way around. Everything had to be done so that young people would go to serve in the army willingly, at their own volition,” he noted.

Martirosyan pointed out that for this, it is necessary to eradicate mayhem in the army, to introduce statutory relations, since today the Armenian soldier is in a slavish position, and all rights of soldiers are violated. “Only after this situation is eliminated, it will be possible to discuss some issues,” the activist said.

In this regard, it is silly to think that the Armenian government will achieve its goal to strengthen the army through adopting controversial laws. As a result, many of Armenian young men will intensify their efforts to move abroad in order not to suffer from hazing in the Armenian army, as well as to continue their education. This, in turn, will trigger even faster depopulation of the country.

URL: http://www.today.az/news/regions/166991.html

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