Conscientious Objectors

JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES OFFICE OF PUBLIC INFORMATION

Conscientious Objectors

REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA AND NAGORNO-KARABAKH*
May 2, 2008

Currently, there are 73 Jehovah’s Witnesses who are in prison for their conscientious refusal of military service on religious grounds. Of these, 67 have been tried and convicted and 6 have been charged and are awaiting their trial. Moreover, 5 Jehovah’s Witnesses received suspended sentences. The names, dates of imprisonment, grounds (under criminal code 1), the duration of punishment and present locations are as follows:

Sixty seven Jehovah’s Witnesses have been tried and convicted:

Name Date of Imprisonment Grounds/Sentence Location
*Areg Avanesyan February 16, 2005 § 327 III2, 48 months Shushi Penal Institution
Samvel Davtyan April 4, 2006 § 327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Hayk Mghitaryan May 18, 2006 § 327 I, 24 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Aram Davtyan July 3, 2006 § 327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Artur Stepanyan July 3, 2006 § 327 I, 24 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Hayk Avetisyan July 17, 2006 § 327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Edgar Kirakosyan August 22, 2006 § 327 I, 24 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Gor Sukiasyan August 22, 2006 § 327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Mushegh Avetisyan August 30, 2006 § 327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Jirayr Zakaryan September 2, 2006 § 327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Hayk Gogjyan September 6, 2006 § 327 I, 24 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Nikol Yervandyan September 6, 2006 § 327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Vahe Mejlumyan September 6, 2006 § 327 I, 36 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Artur Hovhannisyan September 7, 2006 § 327 I, 24 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Hovhannes Karapetyan September 7, 2006 § 327 I, 22 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Argishti Eghiazaryan September 11, 2006 § 327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Karen Botukyan September 12, 2006 § 327 I, 24 months Artik Penal Institution
Artak Kocharyan September 12, 2006 § 327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Vahagn Yeghiazaryan September 20, 2006 § 327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Nikolay Gasparyan September 25, 2006 § 327 I, 36 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Taron Lalayan September 25, 2006 § 327 I, 30 months Artik Penal Institution
Hovhannes Khachatryan November 22, 2006 § 327 I, 24 months Artik Penal Institution
Vahe Musaelyan November 28, 2006 § 327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Gagik Qochinyan December 5, 2006 § 327 I, 30 months Artik Penal Institution
Hrachya Khachatryan December 8, 2006 § 327 I, 30 months Vanadzor Institution
Albert Balyan December 13, 2006 § 327 I, 30 months Artik Penal Institution
Emil Hyrapetyan December 21, 2006 § 327 I, 24 months Artik Penal Institution
Yerem Hovhannisyan January 10, 2007 § 327 I, 36 months Artik Penal Institution
Sayad Tovmasyan January 10, 2007 § 327 I, 36 months Artik Penal Institution
David Gyozalyan January 12, 2007 § 364 I3, 18 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Karapet Barseghyan February 7, 2007 § 327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Aram Yelchyan February 13, 2007 § 327 I, 30 months Artik Penal Institution
Senik Harutyunyan February 15, 2007 § 327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Armen Zurabyan February 27, 2007 § 327 I, 36 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Gevorg Hovsepyan March 3, 2007 § 327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Sevada Grigoryan March 12, 2007 § 327 I, 24 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Bagrat Pirgulyan March 15, 2007 § 327 I, 26 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Karen Safaryan March 15, 2007 § 327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Vigen Yeghiazaryan March 15, 2007 § 327 I4, 27 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Hakob Babayan March 16, 2007 § 327 I, 27 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Vahan Babayan March 16, 2007 § 327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Kajik Harutyunyan March 18, 2007 § 327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Gevorg Karapetyan April 5, 2007 § 327 I, 30 months Artik Penal Institution
Armen Kirakosyan April 18, 2007 § 327 I, 30 months Artik Penal Institution
Nshan Gevorgyan July 17, 2007 § 327 I, 36 months Erebuni Penal Institution
David Aroyan August 3, 2007 §327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Edgar Hakobyan August 7, 2007 §327 I, 24 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Andranik Aghekyan August 8, 2007 §327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Ashot Qaryan August 9, 2007 §327 I, 26 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Zora Melkonyan August 13, 2007 §327 I, 30 months Artik Penal Institution
Hayk Madatyan August 11, 2007 §327 I, 36 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Karen Smbatyan August 14, 2007 §327 I, 22 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Arman Ayvazyan August 14, 2007 §327 I, 24 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Henrik Ghazaryan August 23, 2007 §327 I, 24 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Levon Azizyan August 23, 2007 §327 I, 24 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Argam Vardanyan August 29, 2007 §327 I, 24 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Gor Kirakosyan September 21, 2007 §327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Mkrtich Smbatyan September 26, 2007 §327 I, 22 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Stepan Hovakimyan September 26, 2007 §327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Babken Shahinyan December 5, 2007 §327 I, 30 months Nubarashen Pretrial Detention Institution
Garik Gevorgyan December 25, 2007 §327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Samson Indzigulyan December 25, 2007 §327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Harutyun Vardazaryan January 9, 2008 §327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Hrayr Mkrtchyan January 14, 2008 §327 I, 30 months Nubarashen Pretrial Detention Institution
Hovhannes Arakelyan January 18, 2008 §327 I, 30 months Nubarashen Pretrial Detention Institution
Araz Arshakyan February 5, 2008 §327 I, 30 months Nubarashen Pretrial Detention Institution
Armen Mardoyan February 5, 2008 §327 I, 30 months Artik Penal Institution

Six Jehovah’s Witnesses have been charged and are awaiting their trial:

Name Date of Imprisonment Grounds/Sentence Location
Hamayak Eminyan February 6, 2008 §327 I Nubarashen Pretrial Detention Institution
Davit Petrosyan February 7, 2008 §327 I Nubarashen Pretrial Detention Institution
Martun Hovsepyan February 7, 2008 §327 I Nubarashen Pretrial Detention Institution
Zirayr Karyan March 6, 2008 §327 I Nubarashen Pretrial Detention Institution
Arman Kareyan March 7, 2008 §327 I Nubarashen Pretrial Detention Institution
Ashot Simonyan March 12, 2008 §327 I Nubarashen Pretrial Detention Institution

Five Jehovah’s Witnesses got suspended sentences:

Name Date of Imprisonment Grounds/Sentence
Valery Davtyan June 12, 2006 §70 I5, 24 months
Vardan Aloyan June 23, 2006 §70 I, 24 months
Grigor Yemishyan July 14, 2006 §70 I, 24 months
Stepan Ghazaryan December 25, 2006 §70 I, 24 months
Aghesi Yeghiazaryan May 7, 2007 §70 I, 24 months

 


1 The Criminal Code of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is fully identical to that of the Republic of Armenia.

2 Article 327 III states:   The action envisaged in part 1 or 2 of this article, if committed in conditions of martial law, at time of war or during military actions, is punished with imprisonment from 4 to 8 years.

3 Article 364 I states: Refusal by a serviceman from performing one’s military service or some duties thereof, if this was accompanied with their actual disruption, is punished with arrest for the term of up to 3 months, or with disciplinary battalion for the term of up to 2 years, or imprisonment for up to 2 years.

4 Article 327 I states: Evasion from recurring draft military or alternative service call-up, training exercise or mobilization, without any order defined by Legislation of the RA as grounds for exemption, is punished with arrest for a maximum term of two months, or imprisonment for a maximum term of three years (modified 16.12.2005).

5 Article 70 I states: When assigning a punishment in the form of public work, arrest, imprisonment or keeping in the disciplinary battalion, the court comes to the conclusion that the correction of the convict is possible without serving the sentence, the court can decide not to apply this punishment conditionally.

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