Parents of soldiers who died in the Armenian army in non-combat incidents held a protest action in front of the country's presidential residence for the first time in more than three months on Thursday, holding black balloons.
“The word of the authorities is nothing but air, a balloon; they had promised to discover the real circumstances surrounding our sons' deaths, but they have done absolutely nothing. And black is our color,” protester Hovsep Muradyan, the father of Arman Muradyan who died in Nagorno Karabakh in 2013, told Epress.am.
Muradyan added that the purpose of today's demonstration was to announce once more that it has been a year, but the National Assembly has yet to form an ad hoc committee that would ensure transparency and effectiveness in the investigation of criminal cases into non-combat army fatalities. Muradyan reminded that the order for the committee's creation has come from Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan.
The demonstrator also talked about the heavy fighting that broke out along the entire contact line between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan in the beginning of April and has come to be known as the “four-day-war,” saying that it proved once again the corruptness of Armenia's military and that “we don't have an army.”
“The army has been corrupted for 15-20 years now. [The four-day war] proved that we don't have an army, that our army kills its own men. More than 50 deaths are recorded in the military in a year, and they are all labelled as 'suicide' and left undiscovered,” Muradyan told law enforcement officers who had come up to him with demands to stop talking and leave the territory.
Nevertheless, the action continued for another hour, after which the parents went to the office of Armenia's Human Rights Defender and asked staffer Rafayel Poghosyan to organize a meeting with Ombudsman Arman Tatoyan in the coming days.
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