The Ministry of Defense reports that an investigation is being carried out in connection with the case of Arayik Ghazaryan who left the military unit located on the south-east direction of the Defense Army on August 12, at around 12:00 pm. However, without waiting for the results of the investigation, the Defense Minister issued his inner belief.

“I have an inner conviction that our serviceman has just lost his way.”

He also urged to refrain from disseminating information about the incident, calling it Azerbaijani misinformation.

According to Azerbaijani media, the Armenian serviceman is in the Republic of Azerbaijan; he had escaped from his military unit because of pressure from his fellow servicemen. Azerbaijani websites have posted photos of Arayik with traces of cigarette burns on his fingers and wounds just above his nape.

According to sources, Arayik Ghazaryan was in conflict with one of the military officers. The officer was tormenting Arayik to the point that Ara repeatedly asked his relatives, in particular his brother, a contracted serviceman, to help him, otherwise he would harm himself, escape. He did not ever say a word about crossing the Azerbaijani border, and it is not clear whether he crossed the border voluntarily or if the Azerbaijanis found and kidnapped him. According to unconfirmed information, Ara Ghazaryan’s weapon was found on the border.

Defense Minister’s spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan declined to comment, saying: “I have no such information. The case is being examined by the investigative body.”

The Investigative Committee reported that a criminal case was instituted under Part 2 of the Article 6362 of the Criminal Code  of Armenia for abandonment of the unit in order to avoid service altogether, and under Part 1 of the Article 359 on Violation of the code of conduct for military servicemen in the absence of subordinate relations between them, which was expressed with mocking, persecution, beating, or committing other violent acts.

Arayik Ghazaryan was serving his term in one of the Martuni military units in Artsakh. He is from  Vayk, from the village of Yeghegis. He lived with his mother and grandfather. His father is in Russia, as a migrant worker, and his brother, Armen Ghazaryan, is a contracted serviceman serving in the military unit near Khachik village. In fact, Ghazaryan is registered with the Ministry of Defense and is a subordinate of the Minister David Tonoyan.

Syuzan Simonyan

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