While Armenia is celebrating the Army Day enthusiastically, complaints about conscription do not stop at Forrights.am’s office. This time, Gevorg Mehrabyan, brother of enlisted Hovhannes Mehrabyan, addressed us, who claims that his brother is being sent to the army with many ailments, but that they have refused to take the paper from the military commissariat and are going to complain till the end.

Hovhannes Mehrabyan, a 19-year-old resident of Azatamut village in Tavush district, said he had deferment a year ago due to illnesses, but has now been drafted despite the fact that his illnesses have not been cured.

According to the brother, Hovhannes has a congenital cataract in his left eye, which does not see. Hovhannes also has arrhythmia, which is why he received deferment last year. Arrhythmia is still recorded by doctors today, but he was recognized fit for military service.

The brother claims that Hovhannes also has mental retardation, but the report given at the Nubarashen Mental Health Center, where the conscript was examined for one day, said that he had a “social-educational deficiency”, but they did not stress mental retardation.

“I ask myself now how can a person with so much illnesses — heart arrhythmia, congenital cataract of the left eye, etc.– go into service? If there are diseases to be treated, take him to the army, but not without operations, without medical assistance,” the conscript’s brother said in a conversation with us.

According to him, it is reported that his brother’s blood pressure drops to 85-70. “My brother is lying around half of the day with arrhythmia, his legs and arms weakened. They say he is fit for military service. I live with him, do you think I do not know, do not see what is happening to him? He has three acts with restrictions. Why are you taking him, for what? If fit, healthy, a man should serve. If he is ill, has problems, do they take him to make the problems to worsen? That commission should understand that writing on paper alone cannot mean the man is fit for service.”

So, the brother of the soldier calls for a re-examination and has complained to all possible instances. “The commission says ‘we are relying on papers’, and I say, then send him to a normal hospital where they will be able to examine and treat properly and heal his eye with normal surgical procedure. Do not send him to a place where they shut the door by kicking it, as the head of the Nubarashen Mental Health Center Ustyan did,” complained the brother.

 According to him, two days are left for the draft, but the complaints remain unanswered. “People say you may complain wherever you want, doesn’t matter: he still will be considered fit for service. The answers to all questions remain in the air. They don’t answer to anything. They do nothing. After all, we live in a legal country, so people should be able to protect their rights. Or not?”

According to Gevorg Mehrabyan, the families and parents of many conscripts complain like him. “The problem is both in this commission and in the medical institutions, which are unable to research properly, they just receive money from the state. They say, good service to you. There is an investigative body, there is a prosecutor’s office, let them deal with these issues. You can’t keep people in so much trepidation.”

Forrights.am has sent a request to the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Armenia asking for clarification on the case, which we will present upon receipt.

Marine Kharatyan

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