Update on prisoners of conscience in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh

Update on prisoners of conscience in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh
As of October 2008, in Armenia there are 74 Jehovah’s Witnesses in prison for their conscientious refusal of military service on religious grounds, and in Nagorno-Karabakh one of Jehovah’s Witnesses is in prison for his conscientious refusal of military service on religious grounds. It is hoped that alternative civilian service that is truly nonmilitary in nature will soon be an option available to young men like these.

Conscientious Objectors

REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA
October 31, 2008

Currently, there are 74 Jehovah’s Witnesses who are in prison for their conscientious refusal of military service on religious grounds. Of these, 73 have been tried and convicted and 1 has been charged and is awaiting his trial. Moreover, 1 Jehovah’s Witness received a suspended sentence. The names, dates of imprisonment, grounds (under criminal code 1), the duration of punishment and present locations are as follows:

Seventy-four Jehovah’s Witnesses have been tried and convicted:

Name Date of Imprisonment Grounds/Sentence Location
Aram Davtyan July 3, 2006 § 327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Hayk Avetisyan July 17, 2006 § 327 I, 30 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
Nikol Yervandyan September 6, 2006 § 327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Vahe Mejlumyan September 6, 2006 § 327 I, 36 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Argishti Eghiazaryan September 11, 2006 § 327 I, 30 months Erebuni 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
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 I, 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 Erebuni Penal Institution
Roman Hovhannisyan December 17, 2007 § 327 I, 30 months Artik Penal 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 Erebuni Penal Institution
Hovhannes Arakelyan January 18, 2008 § 327 I, 24 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Araz Arshakyan February 5, 2008 § 327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Armen Mardoyan February 5, 2008 § 327 I, 30 months Artik Penal Institution
Hamayak Eminyan February 6, 2008 § 327 I, 27 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Davit Petrosyan February 7, 2008 § 327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Martun Hovsepyan February 7, 2008 § 327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Zirayr Karyan March 6, 2008 § 327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Arman Kareyan March 7, 2008 § 327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Ashot Simonyan March 12, 2008 § 327 I, 36 months Artik Penal Institution
Hovik Stepanyan March 31, 2008 § 327 I, 24 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Karo Aleksanyan April 4, 2008 § 327 I, 24 months Erebuni Penal Institution
David Arakelyan April 7, 2008 § 327 I, 12 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Vahe Ananyan April 8, 2008 § 327 I, 24 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Karen Voskanyan April 11, 2008 § 327 I, 30 months Erebuni Penal Institution
Vahram Baghramyan June 3, 2008 § 327 I, 30 months Nubarashen Pretrial Detention Institution
Mkhitar Sargsyan July17, 2008 § 327 I,36 months Nubarashen Pretrial Detention Institution
Gevorg Danughyan August 8,2008 §327 I, 24 months Nubarashen Pretrial Detention Institution
Mher Barseghyan August 25,2008 § 327 I, 30 months Nubarashen Pretrial Detention Institution

One Jehovah’s Witness has been charged and is awaiting his trial:

Tigran Melikyan July 30, 2008 § 327 I Nubarashen Pretrial Detention Institution

One Jehovah’s Witness received a suspended sentence:

Aghesi Yeghiazaryan May 7, 2007 §70 I, 24 months

1 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).

Conscientious Objector

NAGORNO-KARABAKH*
October 31, 2008

Currently, one of Jehovah’s Witnesses is in prison for his conscientious refusal of military service on religious grounds. The name, date of imprisonment, ground (under criminal code 1), the duration of punishment and present location are as follows:

One of Jehovah’s Witnesses has been tried and convicted:

Name Date of Imprisonment Grounds/Sentence Location
Areg Avanesyan February 16, 2005 § 327 III1, 327 I 48 months Shushi Penal Institution

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

1 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.

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