Rights of Soldiers/Recruits
Brief information on the results of legal advice by HCA Vanadzor during the call-ups of winter 2016 and summer 2017
As a result of legal assistance through written procedure, 4 persons were granted a deferment for up to a year and 3 other persons were declared temporarily non-fit for military service, one of which faced criminal proceedings on the grounds of avoiding service. By the way, the conscript underwent a forensic medical examination, but because of disagreeing with its results, he appealed them. As a result another forensic medical examination was assigned as there were discrepancies between his state of health and the data in his medical records.
Today, on July 28, 2017 the RA Administrative Court, presided by judge K. Baghdasaryan, announced its judgment after examination of conscript Hovhannes Mosyan’s claim against the RA Central Medical Commission’s decision.
Witnesses questioned on the case of causing serviceman to commit suicide insist that they were guided by the investigator
Witness A. Sargsyan said that after consulting a lawyer, he realized that he might change his testimonies provided during the preliminary investigation and decided to tell the truth during the confrontation. Upon the motion of the prosecution party, the Court disclosed the testimonies of the witness given during the preliminary investigation and then the parties asked questions on the contradictions.
On July 23, 2017, in the evening, the RA Ministry of Defense shared information stating that on July 23, 2017, at about 6:30 am, in the area near the RA MoD military unit № N, the body of junior sergeant, conscript soldier Vardan Melkonyan /father’s name: Artavazd/ who voluntarily left the unit, was found hung (born in 1998, Vanadzor Military Registration and Enrollment Office). To establish the circumstances of the case, investigation is in progress.
Drafting of conscripts with health problems is the main concern of conscripts and their family members
On July 18 and July 20, 2017 Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Vanadzor initiated trainings in Ashtarak and Gyumri, respectively, on ‘Fundamentals of human rights. Rights and duties of conscripts and servicemen; legal regulations on protection of conscripts’ rights’.
The Court demanded that Central Medical Commission submitted grounds for declaring the conscript fit for service
T.M.’s representative S. Soghomonyan presented the substance and grounds of the claim. Then, considering that the issue under consideration concerned a contest claim and in that case the burden of proof was borne by the defendant party, the Court ruled to demand from the defendant RA Central Medical Commission the materials of the administrative proceedings underlying the decision on the conscript’s fitness for military service and based on that postponed the court hearing.
Ministry of Defense declassified the Manual on Limitations on Military Service for Conscripts with Health Problems; in August it will be accessible on arlis.am
According to the Defense Ministry’s representative, as early as late August, the manual will be already available in arlis.am system in form of an Annex to RA Defense Minister’s Decree № 410-N of August 4. 2013.
On July 11, 2017 the RA Administrative Court resumed examination of the claim on annulling the RA Central Medical Commission’s decision on conscript Hovhannes Mosyan’s health.
HCA Vanadzor collected the data on the death cases in January-June 2017 from the information disseminated by the mass media and official sources as well as provided by the families of the deceased servicemen.
According to the findings of the study by HCA Vanadzor, in January-June 2017, 36 conscript soldiers and contract servicemen, more exactly 23 conscript soldiers and 13 contract servicemen, deceased in the RA armed forces and NK defense army.
Reference on updated information on death cases identified in RA Armed Forces and NK Defense Army in 2016
Having some doubts that the provided information was incomplete, the Organization carried out some further studies into the death cases of 2016. The Organization learnt from other official sources about death cases of 13 more servicemen in 2016 not announced by either official sources, or in the mass media.