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Defense Minister Complicates Matters for Family of Soldier Who Crossed Into Azerbaijan, Says Mother of Dead Soldier

It is not the first time that Seyran Ohanyan criticizes the family of a soldier when commenting on incidents that have happened in the army, said the parents of soldiers who died in the army to Epress.am during a protest in front of the Presidential Palace, referring to the Minister's comments on the recent desertion of Andranik Grigoryan to Azerbaijan. 

“If there was any pressure, then it came from his family. I can say that the relationship between him and his family was tense. Soon, everything will be clear. I’m excluding any ill-treatment from the commanders, he was a contractual soldier in a small subdivision, where there are no interpersonal relations," Ohanyan had said.

The mother of dead soldier Artur Ghazaryan, Irina Ghazaryan, recalled during the protest today that it is in the Ministry of Defense’s style to explain incidents of illegal border crossings, suicides, rapes and hazing of a conscript as due to “being undisciplined.” 

“When they rape, the family is at fault, when they murder, it’s due to the lack of discipline of the soldier, when they cross into Azerbaijan that’s also because of the family. Why didn’t he go to Azerbaijan before he came to the army? If the Ministry of Defense really thinks this way, then why didn’t they look into the situation of the family beforehand? They are enlisted when 16 years old; let them conduct a psychological examination for everyone during those two years and reveal who is psychologically prepared to serve in the army,” said Irina Ghazaryan. 

Valery Muradyan’s mother, Nana Muradyan, remarked that Ohanyan ruled out the subdivision’s fault in Grigoryan’s action by another “false argument” that he was a contractual soldier.

“First, making such a statement, basically, the Minister recognizes that conscripted soldiers are subject to pressure. Second, this is a false argument because we haven’t forgotten Artak Nazaryan’s murder. He was a first lieutenant, however that didn’t save him from death, nor did it guarantee a fair investigation,” Muradyan noted.

What also infuriated the parents of the dead soldiers is that Seyran Ohanyan compared, on Television, the parents of the soldier who crossed the border with the parents of victims of saboteur attacks implying that the latter were heroes who had sacrificed their lives for their homeland. “When nothing is clear yet, and that boy’s family is in a complicated situation, Seyran Ohanyan further complicates the matters, so they are embarrassed of their son, so they can't go out in public, so they think that someone else's son is a hero, while their son is the opposite of one,” Irina Ghazaryan said.