Ar­me­nian army con­tin­ues to abuse sol­diers

Azer News - - Karabakh Conflict - By Rashid Shiri­nov

Ar­me­nian par­ents are ag­o­nis­ing over the mur­der of their sons and fight­ing against abuses in the army. Ar­me­nian moth­ers, who send their sons for mil­i­tary ser­vice, are more afraid that they can be the vic­tims of haz­ing and vi­o­lence in­side the Ar­me­nian army, rather than vic­tims of mil­i­tary clashes on the front­line.

Th­ese are in­ci­dents re­lated to a de­dovshina cul­ture in the Ar­me­nian army, where bul­ly­ing, vi­o­lence, in­clud­ing sex­ual, haz­ing and con­stant hu­mil­i­a­tion of hu­man dig­nity are “flour­ish­ing”.

Ev­ery few months, in­ci­dents of of­ten deadly abuse are ex­posed.

In June, sev­eral sol­diers died af­ter be­ing beaten by se­nior ranks. Also, a sergeant of Ar­me­nian army killed his fel­low sol­diers al­legedly as re­venge for bul­ly­ing.

In July, Ju­nior Sergeant of the Ar­me­nian army Var­dan Melkonyan was found hanged in a mil­i­tary unit. Later, Ar­me­nia’s In­ves­tiga­tive Com­mit­tee an­nounced that Melkonyan’s fel­low sol­dier was ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of com­mit­ting vi­o­lent acts against the late sergeant.

In late Au­gust, three sol­diers serv­ing in the Ar­me­nia-oc­cu­pied Agdere re­gion of Azer­bai­jan were bru­tally beaten by se­nior ranks and in­sulted in front of the whole mil­i­tary per­son­nel. The of­fi­cers beat hun­gry and thirsty sol­diers Levon Khacha­tryan, Ed­ward Bagh­danyan and Harut Mar­tirosyan be­cause they re­fused to dig the ground un­der the sun.

An­other in­ci­dent took place in Azer­bai­jan’s Kho­ja­vand re­gion oc­cu­pied by Ar­me­nian armed forces back in early 1990s. A deputy com­man­der of the reg­i­ment in an Ar­me­nian mil­i­tary unit, be­ing on duty, drank al­co­hol with his friends, and started sex­ual as­sault against the sol­diers. Two sol­diers who could not stand the abuse left the mil­i­tary unit, then re­turned in the morn­ing and com­plained to Com­man­der of the reg­i­ment about the in­ci­dent. Un­typ­i­cally for the Ar­me­nian army, jus­tice was done and the Deputy Com­man­der was sent to the mil­i­tary prison for five days.

In ad­di­tion, many Ar­me­nian sol­diers die in mys­te­ri­ous cir­cum­stances in their mil­i­tary units, and most of th­ese deaths are be­ing reg­is­tered by Ar­me­nian in­ves­ti­ga­tion bod­ies as sui­cides in or­der to hide the real causes and real mur­der­ers.

The above­men­tioned facts show why Ar­me­nian fam­i­lies are afraid of send­ing their sons to mil­i­tary ser­vice and why they try to find any ways to save their boys from the Ar­me­nian army.

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