Monday, August 01, 2011

Activist says Defense Ministry unable to control situation in army (video)

23:11 - 29.07.11

A rights activist has slammed the Defense Ministry, accusing it of inaptitude to keep the situation in the army under control.

Speaking to journalists on Friday Arthur Sakunts, the head of the Vanadzor Office of the Helsinki Associations, said that accounts of intentional killings, humiliation and degrading treatment in the army are covered up and the perpetrators are not revealed to be held accountable.

`Our Defense Ministry is unable to take the situation under control,' said Sakunts.

Anahit Mkrtchyan, the mother of a killed conscript Araik Avetisyan, also present at the press conference said that she has already lodged a file at the European Court of Human Rights and will wait for the results as long as necessary.

Mkrtchyan said that her son was killed in the room of Never Stepanyan, the head of staff of the battalion where Araik Avetisyan used to serve.

According to her, the head of staff had arranged for him a leave of absence in return for $100. But when Araik Mkrtchyan had gone back without the money, Stepanyan started yelling at him, then took out his Makarov pistol and hit on his head twice.

A criminal case was lodged, Anahit Mkrtchyan went on to say, and Stepanyan was sentenced for four and half year in prison for unintended murder. But after constant complaints by Mkrtchyan the case was reviewed and the forensic examination found out the traces of beats by a blunt instrument on the skull of Araik Avetisyan.

Following two year of his conviction Stepanyan was released and is now occupying the same position at the same military unit.

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