Today, the Defense Ministry gave explanations on the article published yesterday on website titled “The commander of the battalion beat the soldier with mental disorder. He is in a psychiatric hospital, in a critical situation.”

There are odious expressions in the statement against the Yezidi young man. In the end, the Defense Ministry simply vilifies him: “Such people have no place in the Armenian Armed Forces as they defame the dignity of the serviceman.”

Let’s briefly remind that thea 19-year-old Yezidi resident of the Jrarat village of the Armavir Marz, Yurik Broyan was drafted into the army in Martakert military unit in August despite his inherited serious mental problems and the fact that the young man could not speak and did not attend school. A few days after his recruitment, he was brutally beaten by his commander nicknamed “Bab” and then sent to psychiatric hospitals where his condition got worse.

Minister Davit Tonoyan does not accept Yurik’s mother and does not answer her letters. Artsrun Hovhannisyan, the press secretary of the Defense Ministry, told us yesterday that, by the decision of the specialized commission, Broyan is fit for restricted military service and, as for the beating, the soldier should apply to the relevant bodies. In other words, the Ministry of Defense is no longer responsible for the beating of the soldier; the soldier himself has to address the relevant bodies. One is left to wonder how many soldiers beaten up by the officers have applied to the military police so far.

However, the Press Secretary of the Ministry of Defense considered it necessary to refer to the topic again, making harsh expressions regarding the soldier. The Defense Ministry informs that Yurik Broyan was subjected to military recruitment in winter of 2017, he had avoided the service, a criminal case was initiated, Broyan appealed in court, but lost.

After being discharged from the hospital, however, Broyan was not taken to the military unit because he continued to show the same behavior and began not to speak. Immediately on the next day, on 07.11.2018, he was taken to the “psycho-narcological dispensary”, and, from there, on 16.11.2018, was sent again to the Psychiatric Department of the Ministry of Defense’s hospital. The joint examination of the department head and doctors at the Psychiatric Department revealed that the soldier did not need treatment and re-examination in the psychiatric department. The serviceman was sent back to the military unit. Unable to reach the desired result, that is — being hospitalized, this time Broyan refused to accept food as a protest, which resulted in his transfer to the Psychiatric Department of the Ministry of Defense’s hospital.”

Yurik Broyan’s mother, Marine Broyan, assures that the ministry is lying. She continues to insist that her son has serious mental problems. She tells that her brother also suffers from a mental illness and that her other son has epilepsy, and Yurik has always had mental problems, often collapses.

The mother does not trust the Central Military Medical Commission of the Ministry of Defense, which needs to provide the army with certain numbers of soldiers. Marine Broyan is convinced that a crime has been committed against her son in the military unit.

She requires her son’s medical examination papers, but the Defense Ministry does not provide them illegally. Instead, the Ministry publishes insulting remarks, discrediting her son, spreading rumors that he wants to avoid the military service.

Today was again a tense day for Yurik Broyan’s mother. Her son was transferred from the Kanaz psychiatric hospital to the Muratsan Military Hospital, from where he will be sent to the same military unit where he was beaten. We turned to Colonel Alik Avetisyan, the Head of the Center for Human Rights and Proper Behavior of the Ministry of Defense, whose intervention changed the situation.

Alik Avetisyan visited Yurik Broyan and talked to his mother. He also contacted the investigative authorities and found out that there was a criminal case filed on beating and that Yurik Broyan was recognized as victim. Alik Avetisyan also talked to Marine Broyan and promised that the issue of her son’s transfer to another military unit would be settled. Col. Avetisyan told us that before the new decision was taken, Broyan would be transferred to the military police. By the evening, the soldier was in the military police. Marine Broyan has invited an attorney who will begin appealing the results of her son’s medical examination findings.

The Investigative Committee informed that a criminal case has been instituted on the incident in the military unit according to the articles on official fraud, violent actions against subordinates, bribery, abuse of power articles of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia. Yurik Broyan is recognized as the victim, and a preliminary investigation is under way.

Syuzan Simonyan

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