The mother of Levon Torosyan, a soldier killed in the Mehrabner border military unit in Tavush region on May 6, cannot forget his son’s phonecall. Right before his death, he has talked to her for 4 minutes and 16 seconds. Suddenly the son screamed, “mom”, and his mother, Armine, still thinks that that was the moment when his son was attacked.
“He cried ‘mom’ with a receding voice, then a swish was heard, and the call broke off, both our words remained unfinished. It is horrifying when your child calls for your help and you cannot do anything,” recalls Armine Poghosyan. There were bruises, hematoma and other injuries in the body of Levon, bruises in the area of his testicles, abdomen and legs. But the preliminary investigation has developed just one version of “inciting suicide”.
The case was instituted under the same article of the Criminal Code, part 1 (on inciting suicide). A junior sergeant, resident of the Yeranos village Volodya Hoghikyan, who allegedly blasphemed Levon, and the latter shot himself due to the insult, was charged.
“I do not believe [to this version]: This pitiable boy is falsely accused,” the mother of the victim insists. She, in anger, does not use the word “suicide”.
“We are fighting against a criminal formation”
She was looking forward to meeting with the Prime-Minister Pashinyan this week along with other mothers with great hope. We already have reported that the parents of 10 servicemen, who, by the military prosecutor’s office, were considered to commit “suicides”, demanded a meeting with the acting Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan. On November 22, the meeting took place. Parents demanded to abolish “false label of suicide” and carry out fair trials on the death cases, and Pashinyan replied that a commission would be set up to deal with those criminal cases.
Armine Poghosyan came to the conclusion that during the meeting they did not address the main issue, that is, why the atmosphere in the army does not change, why the killings are not prevented, but increase?
“We are fighting against a criminal formation. Mass killings of children are taking place in the army. They are brutally beaten, murdered, the soldiers are forced to give false testimonies, and then they write “suicide”.
Armine’s son has gone to the army readily. “But he went and soon was disappointed,” the mother says in a conversation with Forrights. “He was telling us that everyone there was stoned, drunken and asleep, all the convicted, psychologically problematic and sick officers were there, at the “Mehrab” military unit.”
“Dear mom, it is a disorderly house in here”
Levon broke the unwritten law of the army, that is—”not taking the garbage out of the house”. He often told his mother what was going on inside the military unit. He was dissatisfied with the officers, sought to move to Artsakh.
“He called, said, I want to move, to write an application to be transferred to Karabakh,” states the mother.
Armine Poghosyan conveyed her son’s complaints on Mehrab command. ““Mom, it is a disorderly house in here. The officers are drunken, stoned, lying down all day long.” He said that the posts were kept just by them the ordinary soldiers, the officers all were high and drunk.
We hope that, reading these lines, the Ministry of Defense will not make formal denials but will take a note of the complaints of the late soldier.
“I’ve given them a healthy boy, and what did they return me instead?”
According to Armine Poghosyan, the Defense Minister is number one responsible person for the frequent killings in the army. Before going to Nicol [the Prime Minister], she and her husband wrote letters to the Defense Ministry. The answer was always the same: an investigation is underway, the Ministry has nothing to do with it.
“Well, who has a thing to do with it? I’ve given them a healthy boy, and what did they return me instead? Who is the Minister working for if he has nothing to do with it?” There is
a glass in between the parent of the soldiers who “committed suicides” and the Defense Minister Tonoyan; the glass of the government doors.
Asked what impression she got from the meeting with Nikol Pashinyan, Armine replied: “I hope the Prime Minister will do something. My husband went to the meeting, I watched the videos, but it seems to me that they do not consider the issue of these children important. The issue of homosexuals is more important today, they have been discussing it all days long, but not paying that much attention to our children.”
“The boy was killed, placed on a stamp and the machine gun was put under his jaw”
The expert of the “Peace Dialogue” NGO Ruben Martirosyan, to whom Levon Torosyan’s parents have applied with a request for legal assistance, informed that he was unable to obtain the materials of the investigation on Torosyan’ s death from the Ministry of Defense. They say the documents are confidential.
“But right now I have three set of materials from three different cases. Why can they provide materials on one case, and cannot on another? This means that the investigation is false, and the service investigation is fake, which usually is conducted within three days. They have already adapted the materials of these two investigations with each other and made frauds,” says the expert.
He submitted a report on the crime to the General Prosecutor’s Office and was interrogated by the Special Investigation Service on the case of Levon Torosyan’s death. He expressed his doubts about the “suicide” version. “The deadly blow was on the horizontal surface. The boy was killed, placed on a stump, and the machine gun was put under his jaw. This is absurd. If the machine gun actually shot in this position, it would fly away aside, and the body—to the other side,” states the expert.