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Armenian Students Protest Possible Amendments to Law on Military Duty

The expected amendments to the Armenian law “On Military Duty and Military Service”, according to which draft deferments will only be granted to those students who would enter into an agreement with the Defense Ministry to serve in the armed forces as contract officers for 3 years after graduation, have driven the students of the Yerevan State University to create an initiative named “For the Development of Science.”

“With the formation of the initiative, we began raising awareness among students about the expected amendments and the risks that the [bill drafted by the Defense Ministry] entails,” future art critic, second-year student Monte Matevosyan said in an interview for Epress.am.

The students are convinced that the amendments will no doubt deal a serious blow to education and science, while the Ministry of Defense “is trying to solve its own problems at the expense of education.” The students’ desire to avoid compulsory military service, according to Monte Matevosyan,  derives from corruption not only in the education system, but also in other spheres.

“It is a more serious systemic problem. [Minister of Defense] Vigen Sargsyan’s argument that the amendments ‘will restore social justice’ is rather controversial. The adoption of this bill will not restore social justice, since a person who resorted to corruption in the education system in order to avoid military service will now resort to corruption in the healthcare sphere for the same purpose,” Matevosyan insisted.