Servicemen who have been subjected to sexual violence should choose whether to continue the military service or not

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K’s service in the army is being conducted in serving in prisons, various military police departments and medical institutions. On January 15, 2018, he was drafted into the army, to the military unit N in Martakert, where he was subjected to violent acts and beatings during the same month. The boy’s ribs are broken, there are wounds on his head, and he has psychological problems. We can say that K. is a victim of indifference. The state did not fulfill its commitment to secure health of the servicemen, ensure their right to life, to keep them from being beaten, raped, or humiliated.

According to his testimonies, he was raped by officer G. of one of the military units of the Martakert region of the NK Defense Army. In a conversation with us, the latter denied the assertion of rape, assuring that the soldier has defaced him. The officer is still in freedom. Rumors are circulating that his position will soon be raised. The soldier, who was first recognized as a victim, was held in custody under the pressure of the military police until he changed his testimony.

Now he is accused of false denunciations (Cr. Code, Article 333). The case is in court. The last court session was held in Stepanakert at the end of November. Next session is scheduled for May 8. The judge has changed, and this means that the trial will start from the beginning. The officer who, according to K., committed the offensive act, was interrogated.

The last year of the soldier’s life reminds a horror movie. An unexplained growth was found on his head. In Stepanakert’s hospital, K. was operated on without a medical examination, which resulted in branching of the growth. Currently, K. serves in one of the military units in Artsakh.

K’s mother was the one who first learned what was going on with her son and, in fact, brought about a criminal case. She assures that her son is being subjected to ridicule in the military unit.

“I’ve seen my son on the 16th of the month; he is depressed. In a small military unit, where he is now, I don’t know how, they learned about his story and started tormenting my son. I think that the rumors about what happened with him are being deliberately spread. He constantly needs a psychologist’s care,” says K’s mother.

In the soldier’s medical card, is mentioned the following: “light and short-term mental disorders subject to healing and concluding with improvement.”

“It’s so written, but no treatment is being applied,” says K’s mother.

In addition to psychological problems, the serviceman also has fractures of the ribs that were found in January when K’s mother finally got permission to bring him to Yerevan, Kanaz hospital for tests. K. told that he was beaten by the officer who raped him. The military police recorded the injuries. On January 14, a new criminal case has been filed against officer G. The latter has been charged by the Criminal Code Article 358.1–committing violent acts with a subordinate or threatening to commit them, causing severe damage to health or other serious consequences (part 3/4).

The soldier’s lawyer Hayarpi Sargsyan, presenting K’s story, filed a petition to Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Prosecutor General, Defense Minister.

“Dear gentlemen, notwithstanding all the occurrences, he continues his military service, during which I have repeatedly appealed to the RA Prosecutor General to secure the safety of my client. The Prosecutor General’s office of the Republic of Armenia several times, upon my request, readily changed my client’s military unit. However, the reality proved that even if K. is moved to any other military unit in the Republic of Armenia, it does not help to improve his psychological condition, because with him, at the same time, “rumors are being sent” to the same unit about what happened with him, and they start asking questions, as a result of which the serviceman falls into deeper depression,” writes Hayarpi Sargsyan suggesting to terminate K’s military service.

She believes that sexually abused soldiers should be given the opportunity to choose whether to continue their service or not. So far she has not received an answer.

Three conclusions of forensic examinations have proved that the young man has been subjected to sexual violence against his will, and that it was done when he was in the military unit. The Ministry of Defense did nothing. They continue to keep the young man in a military unit where he is subjected to ridicule and humiliated.

Syuzan Simonyan

ԹՈՂՆԵԼ ՊԱՏԱՍԽԱՆ

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