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“We are Confident, It was a Murder” Conscript’s Family is Protesting in Front of the Parliament 

On December 2, 2019, early in the morning, 21-year-old Arthur Ajamyan, a conscript serving in the Nagorno Karabakh Defense Army was reported dead from a weapon injury in unknown circumstances. Another conscript, Davit Melikbekyan (born in 1999) was transferred to hospital with a weapon injury. The press release of Armenia’s Investigative Committee also reported that a criminal investigation opened for an attempt of murdering two or more persons.

On December 3, 2019, the relatives of Artur Ajamyan, of the yezidi community of Armenia, were mourning in front of the gates of the National Assembly of Armenia and demanding to investigate the circumstances of Artur’s death. After a meeting with Andranik Kocharyan, Chairperson of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Defense and Security Issues, they insisted to stay in front of the Parliament until they would receive a clear answer.

They were also demanding “not to label Artur with suicide.” According to Ajamyan’s uncle, they received a phone call from the military unit and were told that “a fight had broken out and a killing occurred.” Andranik Kocharyan reassured the protesters, who had come all the way from Artashar village of Armavir Marz, that justice would prevail. He offered a more detailed conversation with the lawyer [Hayarpi Sargsyan] of the representatives of the victim in his office at the Parliament.

The family members fear most that the murder would be qualified as a suicide. Lawyer Hayarpi Sargsyan told the reporters that signs of violence were identified on Artur Ajamyan’s body during the forensic examination conducted a day earlier.

Family members recalled that Artur called them on December 1 and said that everything was all right, his mother was expecting his call on the next day, his birthday, but he never called again. Instead, the official first notification they received, was that he had broken into a fight with a fellow servicemen and shot him due to which he was in the military unit’s detention facility. In the meanwhile, the relatives were also demanding a meeting with the injured soldier, who would allegedly know answers to questions.