Yesterday, on December 6, the body of soldier Arthur Ajamyan was buried in Artashar village. The village mayor Manvel Ohanyan told that people from all over Armenia had come to the funeral.

“There were 3,000 people present. When they heard that a soldier had been killed, they came to pay their respects to him. There was a quiet funeral, no excesses. People were promised that the investigation would proceed without hindrance, and now people are waiting quietly,” said Manvel Ohanyan.

The parents of soldiers killed in peaceful conditions are largely silent about their grief. In the days following the tragic events, many rely on the investigator, no matter how unlikely the hypotheses put forward by the latter. Some, like Artashar residents, are making loud protests, complain about the MoD and the preliminary investigation body, demanding an objective investigation.

On December 4, they, with a photo of Arthur on their hands, came near the gates of the National Assembly, demanding an answer for the young man killed. They were not allowed inside.

MPs Naira Zohrabyan and Andranik Kocharyan promised the protesters that they will see justice soon.

Earlier, near the morgue Artur’s villagers had declared that they would not take his body home until the mystery of Arthur Ajamyan’s death is revealed.

Artur Ajamyan, 11, was killed on December 2, on his birthday. On the same day, during an incident not yet evident, another soldier, Davit Melikbekyan, born in 1999, was wounded. He is a resident of Yerevan.

He has a severe head injury and is currently in the intensive care unit. According to our information, the two men were on duty. They arrived there 2-3 hours before the incident, checked the site, made sure everything was in order, and left.

The people of Artashar who had organized a rally outside the parliament, gathered there because of the information spread by some media outlets that Arthur had committed suicide. It is not excluded that this false information was originally circulated to check people’s reaction. The response was fierce.

“Shame on those news outlets who wrote that the boy had committed suicide!” said one of the victim’s relatives.

The Investigative Committee initiated a case under point 1, part 2 of Article 34-104 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia for attempting to kill two or more persons.

The lawyer representing the interests of Arthur Ajamyan’s family stated that his body had various traces of violence on his forehead, arms, and legs.

According to information we have received, the military unit where Arthur and David were serving is in shock and everyone is talking about the incident. The soldiers are being interrogated.

On the first day of the suicide hypothesis a discussion took place. There were even rumors that the incident was the result of an encounter with an enemy soldier, as a result of which one of the soldiers was wounded and the other killed in unknown circumstances, in 300 meters distance, or shot himself.

Our source excludes the boys shooting at each other. “They were very friendly with each other; they were both smart kids. It was Artur’s birthday that day, and David even called someone and said on the phone that it was Artur’s birthday and enquired if it was possible to get flour to bake some cake,” our source says.

This means that there was a friendly relationship between Arthur Ajamyan and David Melikbekyan, and it is not excluded that the murder was committed by a third, unknown person.

Martakert defense zone is considered one of the best military units of the Artsakh Defense Army. However, there have been numerous criminal cases in the last couple of years.

On January 7 of this year, Vache Chilingaryan, a resident of Shorzha (Shoghakat) village of Gegharkunik region, was killed in mysterious circumstances. The incident was presented as a result of a sniper shot.

On December 12, 2018, conscript Argishti Hakobyan received a gunshot wound in the abdomen from a shot fired from a Kalashnikov machine gun. The internal organs of the soldier were damaged. This was presented as a careless shot. At the Muratsan hospital, the soldier confessed to his mother that he had problems in the military unit and that he was shot by his fellow serviceman H.M., a resident of Abovyan.

On November 4, 2017, sniper Hrant Mangasaryan died from a landmine explosion in a military unit’s warehouse. Due to criminal negligence of the command, the mine was brought into the storage and exploded in the hands of the soldier, causing his death and the wounding of two other servicemen.

About two weeks after being drafted, a Yezidi soldier Yurik Broyan was severely beaten by the commander of the battalion nicknamed Bad, after which he started having convulsions and eventually was released from military service.

In January, for committing sexual acts, a criminal case was opened in the Third Investigative Division of the RA Investigation Committee against a Yerevan resident K. serviceman in the same military unit in Martakert. The trial has not ended yet.

Syuzan Simonyan

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