Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor presents the report on the death cases in the armed forces of the Republic of Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh in 2018.
Data received from official and non-official sources were combined in the report.
It is noteworthy that there are differences not only between official and non-official data collected by HCA Vanadzor, but also between data provided by different official sources such as Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Armenia, Military Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Armenia, Investigative Committee of the Republic of Armenia.
It should be underscored that according to the data of two official sources, namely Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Armenia and Military Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Armenia, 38 out of 63 fatalities are related to military service and 25 are not, whereas, according to the data of the RA Investigative Committee, 37 out of 50 servicemen’s death cases are related to military service and 13 are not.
Taking into account the fact that HCA Vanadzor learnt only about 47 death cases from non-official sources, we record, that information was disseminated only on 47 out of 63 cases. Moreover, the primary source was an official one only in 37 cases.
It should be noted that in 2018, there were 7 victims of ceasefire violations and 56 victims of non-combat causes. Among non-combat fatalities, a great number is occupied by fatalities caused by car crashes /17/, health-related fatalities /13/ and cases qualified as suicide /11/.
Therefore, it can be concluded that in the armed forces, adherence to the rules of car exploitation, technical requirements of car exploitation and in some cases, drivers’ preparedness are not given due attention.
Also, we find that the fact of the second common cause of death being health problems is connected with issues of providing medical services in the armed forces, as well as with the facts of young persons with health problems being recognized fit for military service.
For the sake of comparison, we should note that in 2017, according to the data of the RA General Prosecutor’s Office, 76 death cases were recorded, 23 of which occurred as a result of ceasefire violations, 10 occurred as a result of suicide or inciting suicide, 16 occurred as a result of health problems, 4 occurred as a result of mine explosions, 8 occurred as a result of murders (4 intentional, 4 as a result of breach of the rules for handling weapons), 6 occurred as a result of accidents (1 carbon monoxide poisoning, 1 grenade explosion, 1 case of being run over by a car, 3 unknown), 9 occurred as a result of car crashes.
As it can be seen, in comparison with 2017, the number of death cases caused by ceasefire violations decreased approximately thrice (by 16), the number of death cases qualified as murder and those caused by health problems decreased by 3, the number of death cases qualified as suicide increased by 1 and the number of death cases caused by car crashes increased by 8 (almost twice).
Other statistical data and details are presented in the REPORT