By Gunay Camal
Young men in Armenia are required to serve two years of military service, but safe and sound return from the service is far from many who are obliged to serve in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.
The Nagorno-Karabakh region, occupied by Armenia from Azerbaijan in early 1990th, has turned into a ‘meat grinder’ for young Armenians, who are forced to serve the illegal regime established there. Poor conditions, sexual abuse of serviceman, suicides, tortures and other horrors are common in the ‘army’ of the so-called Nagorno-Karabakh Regime.
Recently, six Armenian servicemen abjured to obey the orders of the army command of the Nagorno-Karabakh’s separatist regime. For that reason, the court of General jurisdiction of the Syunik province of Armenia considered the case on those soldiers.
The investigation established that in March of 2016, Vartan Balian, Sevak Hayrapetyan, Garegin Hakobyan, Kamo Ghazaryan, Vitaly and Andranik Beylarans, who served in the self-proclaimed defense army of the so-called "Nagorno Karabakh Republic", refused to serve in the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. The soldiers claimed that they are citizens of Armenia, and not of the unrecognized formation. They expressed their unwillingness to obey the orders of the so-called "Republic’s" military commanders.
However, the soldiers were convicted by the Syunik court for “openly refusing to comply with lawful orders of military units and battalion commanders while being the soldier of "Nagorno Karabakh". Thus, six servicemen were charged by Article 356.2 of the Criminal Code of Armenia.
Despite the reasonable claim of the Armenian soldiers, their Armenian government has showed once again its irrationality, as well as absurdity of its actions.
In Armenia, parents refuse to send their children to serve in Nagorno-Karabakh. Parents do everything for their child not to serve in the army, where bribery is believed to be prevalent as well. Families try to arrange matters before their sons were entered into a lottery used to determine where they will serve. Some simply leave Armenia, while others commit suicide in case they don’t have enough money to escape from this ‘hell’.
“I am horrified of the incidents taking place in the army. Soon, the number of victims of army perversions will surpass the number of servants,” says a parent of Armenian soldier who was sent to serve in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh.
Parents of Armenian citizens who have died in the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army are raising questions as to what legal basis Armenian citizens are serving in the ‘NKR Army’. The exact question was earlier asked by the European Court of Human Rights to the Armenian government in the case of “Hrachik Muradyan vs. Republic of Armenia”.
Hrachik Muradyan’s son, Suren Muradyan, died in 2001 in Karabakh army and due to his death a criminal case had been heard. Muradyan had died as a result of violence against him, while the official cause of death was from his illness with Malaria. The soldier had been tortured by the military base’s deputy-commander and artillery chief, however, they avoided punishment, local media reports.
Then the government cited Muradyan’s military service in Karabakh and the Muradyan’s case with a non-existent document.
The European Court still has not released a verdict for the case of “Hrachik Muradyan vs. Republic of Armenia”.
The time shows that the European Court will receive more cases against the Armenian government, as the country still continues the occupation of the internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan and send deliberately young Armenians to death in Karabakh.
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