Home / Army / Armenian Contract Serviceman Forcefully Assigned to Combat Positions, Denied Pay

Armenian Contract Serviceman Forcefully Assigned to Combat Positions, Denied Pay

Sevak Simonyan, a native of the village of Areni in Armenia’s Vayots Dzor province and a contract serviceman at a Vayk military unit, was forced by a commander to go to combat positions despite having health problems, and was subsequently denied pay for his service.

In September, while on the military positions at the Armenia-Nakhichevan border, Simonyan suffered damage to his toes and went on leave after completing the service. “I don’t know what had caused the damage, maybe his boots. In the end of October he went to the Sisian military hospital, where he was assigned bed rest and recommended not to go to positions until his foot had completely healed,” Simonyan’s wife, Hayarpi Voskanyan, said in conversation with Epress.am.

The serviceman took the medical document to his military unit and said he could not be assigned to combat positions for the time being. On October 26, however, he received a phone call from commander Mher Stepanyan, ordering the serviceman to go to the positions the next day.

“Stepanyan threatened to punish him if he refused to go, said he would be fired without a severance pay. Sevak insisted that he had been ordered by a doctor to rest and treat his health problems, but the commander refused to listen to him and said he had to go if he didn’t want to get into trouble… So Sevak was forced to serve at the positions from October 27 to November 10, and when he came back, his foot was in an even worse condition,” Voskanyan said. She added that in November Simonyan was paid only a part of the salary he was supposed to receive. “His total salary is 158 thousand drams. When on leave, servicemen usually receive 105 thousand, but Sevak only got 81 thousand drams for the month of October, including his three days at the positions. But he went to the positions on October 27 and came back on November 10…”

At the military unit Simonyan was told that his name was not in the November list and that he had no money to receive for that month. “They claim he did not spend any days at the positions in November. He has been trying for a month to prove that this is not true, but no one at the unit wants to listen to him. They speak rudely to him and say his problems do not interest them, that he has no money receive because he did not serve in November. It doesn’t make any sense,” the serviceman’s wife said, adding that Simonyan’s contract with the military unit expired on November 24. “I think they knew that the contract was about to expire and decided to take advantage of him. The fact is that Sevak served until November 24, and he is owed money for his service.”

Voskanyan has been trying to reach the defense ministry’s hotline for days, but her calls have yet to be answered. At the ministry of labour and social affairs, meanwhile, the woman was urged to submit a letter outlining the problem.