The 8-member family of the killed soldier lives in an area of 31 square meters
The 8-member family of the killed soldier Pargev Karapetyan lives in an apartment of only 31 square meters. It is ten years since his mother, Satenik Sargsyan, has not been able to get the apartment that she was supposed to get for her family. The Karapetyans have been on the waiting list for apartments for the families of the fallen servicemen since 2010, but so far they have not received anything and not they are out of the list.
The Ministry of Defense to whom the family applied for explanation informed that the issue had been investigated by the order of the Minister of Defense David Tonoyan, and the investigation relieved that, in order to buy a studio, the family was provided with 4 million 920 thousand drams (about $10,000) financial assistance.
However, Satenik Sargsyan claims that she was surprised by the news, as she has never received any such support.
“They wrote that they gave me an amount of about 5 million
, and that I have already received money and gave an agreement that I no longer have any demands. But our family didn’t get anything. They wrote down my name, but under a different address, and now put the blame on me,” Satenik told Forrights.
The mother, who had hard time and spent six years for getting the document, first presented it to the Military Prosecutor’s Office, then to the Police, but did not file a crime report, saying she was afraid for her family and sons.
“I’m scared now too, but I have no other choice,” the woman says angrily.
Aaron, the other son of the mother, lost his foot in a mine explosion in 2006 while serving in the army when there were only 6 months left before his demobilization. Half a year later, he got prosthesis and receives a third-degree disability status and pension.
According to the law in force at that time, he had to get an apartment too, but Aaron’s name was also removed from the waiting list. Only last year the municipality clarified that the reason was today’s legislation.
“According to the new law, a person with 3rd degree disability cannot be in the apartment waiting list today, as he has housing conditions of X square meters. But this is a new law that does not contradict the previous law. In other words, my son ought to get an apartment, but they didn’t give it to him either.”
Karapetyan has repeatedly complained to the relevant authorities, members of the National Assembly and the Ministry of Defense about the situation, saying that the above-mentioned 5 million drams have not been provided and they are still living in the same small house.
Only in November of last year, the Minister of Defense David Tonoyan signed an order on the 14,456,000 AMD certificate for the purchase of an apartment for Karapetyans’ family, which envisaged the purchase of a one-room apartment [studio]. Ms. Satenik was outraged by this circumstance. A poor, eight-member family where she and her ex-husband live cannot buy an apartment with such little amount.
“I, my ex-husband, my disabled son, my other son, his wife and three minor children live in 31 square meters. Now that 15 million will be shared between me and my husband, it means that I will have to buy a house with 7.5 million so that we — 7 people—can live there,” said Mrs. Satenik
Defense Minister David Tonoyan refused to receive the mother, instead Satenik was twice received by Deputy Minister Gabriel Balayan. According to the woman, the deputy minister spoke to her in a rather rude manner, then invited her out.
“As soon as I entered, Balayan stated that it was not possible, he would give us one room apartment only and that’s all. He spoke so rudely, he started shouting from the middle of the conversation, then he extended his hand and said, “You are lying, get out!” I felt devastated and hurt, I am still very hurt. I gave two sons to the army, one was killed, the other became disabled and they call me a liar and invite me out? Who gave him that right?”
Satenik Sargsyan’s health condition does not allow her to “knock” the court doors; according to her, the punishment of a few people will not give her anything, she just wants to solve the problem of the apartment that she was legally supposed to get.
Forrights sent written inquiries to Yerevan Municipality and the Ministry of Defense for clarification. The answer will be published as soon as it is received.
Yesterday, the Human Rights Defender’s Office also sent an inquiry to the Ministry of Defense.
“My son’s death was not presented correctly and they covered up what happened as a result of the enemy’s action”
Mrs. Satenik has yet another concern. According to her, the death of her son was not presented correctly and they covered up what happened as a result of the enemy’s action.
According to the official statement, on March 26, 2009, a homemade hut built by servicemen in one of the N military units of Artsakh collapsed, as a result of which conscript Pargev Karapetyan died. The mother, however, does not believe the official version. According to her, her son was killed on March 23 as a result of the enemy’s actions, when the enemy fired on their position.
“As a result of that shooting big fires broke out, and the children were left under the fire. My son’s body was brought to us on March 27, the color [of his body] was strange, but they reasoned that it was due to keeping in the refrigerator, but I saw that this was something else. They didn’t want us to know the truth, so that we do not connect the death with that shooting and so that it was not written in my son’s military document that he died as a result of military operation,” says Mrs. Satenik.
Doubts about her son’s death still do not leave Satenik Sargsyan.
“After the death of my son, it feels as I do not exist, I just move my body from one place to another to help my children with something. One of them died, the other became disabled and, unable to work, and my third son… regardless how much he works, he cannot make all the ends. And, in the midst of so many things, it is they that shout at me and throw me out.