Armenian contract soldier was regularly beaten and humiliated

Tue 23 Jan 2018 04:01 GMT | 08:01 Local Time

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Contract soldier, ordinary Edgar Hakobyan has come from occupied Nagorno-Karabakh to Yerevan to seek justice.

He is not familiar with the city; hestays in some friends’ home. Edgar doesn’t even have a cell phone. He has no place to go, knows nobody to tell about the wrongdoings against him, the beatings and oppressions.   

"I came to Yerevan hoping to be heard here,” says Edgar. We met him in the center of Yerevan, near the Yeritasardakan metro station. He started telling us his story right there, in the street. He serves in Azerbaijan's Karabakh since March 2017. After the first months of the military service he got a kidney disease, his health started failing.    

He informed about it the leadership of his military unit and asked them to send him to Yerevan for treatment.   

"Two or three months ago, I started experiencing sharp pain in my kidneys. They sent me to the Stepanakert (Khankandi - ed.) hospital, and, from there, to Yerevan. They told me to come and get treatment." Edgar has written three appeals to the military commanding officers requesting to be allowed to get treatment, at least not to be sent to the frontline. "The commander tore my applications. My mother visited him but he did not admit her. He told me that I have to go to the frontline or will be tried.

He says that when he tried to defend his rights, occasionally he was told: "This is not Armenia: you can complain to whomever you want.” But, most of the time, they cursed him with such words that he is ashamed to repeat.   

In recent months unbearable conditions have been created for the ordinary. He was beaten by military police officers several times.   

Edgar told us that on late night of January 8, the Military Police officers moved him to the MP Investigative Department, where until 6 am the Chief of the Investigative Department and two other employees beat and blasphemed him and then moved to the isolator. About two hours later, they transferred Edgar to the Investigative Department again, where the department head harshly hit his kidneys several times, and then they drove him out of the building and forced him to kneel on the drill ground. Then the head of the department instructed his employer to hit Edgar by his feet, forcing him to reach the end of the drill ground on his knees. 

The last beating occurred 5-6 days ago when he got out the military unit and tried to leave. "They hit me so that no traces were left—on my kidneys, shoulders, head…” Then, with the help of policemen, they took him to the frontline.    

"They forcibly keep me there. I really want to serve, I am ready to do whatever is needed to be done, but cannot go to the frontline positions. We are not prisoners of war, are we?” resents the young man.   

Arriving in Yerevan, he went to the Ministry of Defense to try to present the wrongdoings towards him but was not allowed to enter the building.   




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