Point of View

The monitoring revealed problems of conscription


Last week in the National Assembly, in the Committee of Defense, National Security and Inner Affairs, at the discussion on "Public monitoring of the process recruiting conscripts" a report summarizing the results of the project "Monitoring of the conscription process" was presented. 

The monitoring had been conducted since 1 February, 2009 to 30 November among 3600 stakeholders (conscripts, mothers of the soldier, people separated from the service, military commission, schools, hospitals).

Member of "Mother of a soldier" NGO Anahit Hovnanyan said that during the survey it was found out that the conscripts and their parents as well as military servants were not aware of their rights and responsibilities, most part of the people questioned during the monitoring do not differ conscription committee from military commission. 

During their speech the representatives of all of the other NGOs claimed that the monitoring showed that people's rights were mostly violated during the medical examination.

"For example, for a conscript with back-bone hernia, the doctors can write down no functions are disrupted", says the head of "Proactive Society" human rights organization Anna Margaryan.

Arthur Sakunts, head of Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor office, presented problems related to health examination of a conscript in the regions. In the far villages appropriate examination is not carried out (there is no opportunity even for X-rays, and the conscript does not have enough money for medical examination in the capital, he does not come for examination, and it automatically turns out that he takes the notice carelessly by not attending the doctor for the examination).

"A conscript is not also given a document about medical examination by the committee, People try to get it by all means, and in many cases the absence of the document does not provide an opportunity to apply to court, appealing the decision of the committee", says Sakunts.

Deputy of RA military commissary Gagik Harutyunyan as a response said that "probably the appeal of the document was given by people who wanted to find out information about their situation 5 minutes before".

Gegham Harutyunyan, president of public board attached to the RA Minister of Defense mentioned in his speech that conscription committee created by the Minister of Defense does not consider him an army critic or inspector and the supervision should be viewed as a support. According to Harutyunyan since its establishment the committee has organized 14 sessions and discussed 46 applications.

"As a result of the applications sent to us it was found out that the utmost concerning problem for a citizen is a problem related to health, 30 applications from 46 were about it, moreover, in 26 cases from 30, there was a clear request for a delay", said he.

According to the Board President 13 applications from 26 were accepted and 24 from 46 applications a status "not qualified for a parade service" was affirmed.

Deputy of Military Commissar Gagik Harutyunyan added that the regulation defines that conscripts with limited health problems are also taken to the army and if 2 people because of health problems are released from the duty to serve in the army, and only 2 people from the other 8 people are fully healthy, in any case the other 6 people must serve even when they have certain health problems.

The project was organized by "Soldier's mother", Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor office, "Proactive public" human rights organizations with the financial support of OSCE Yerevan office.

Christine Vardanyan