Where "Secrecy" Brought Us

Syuzan Simonyan

Story from Lragir.am News:

Published: 12:37:45 – 27/12/2011

You represent the victims in many death cases in the army. What is
the general assessment to the process of the cases?

I would not say I’m satisfied, but there is one positive thing:
the Military Prosecutor is more attentive to the cases happened in
military units. He tries to be there on the first day of the incident,
but I think it was wrong of him to say that 100 or even 80% of cases
are revealed. I agree that it is not easy to reveal the cases of
Ohanjanyan, Artak Nazaryan or Valeri Muradyan, but if one wants much.

Some people accept the activeness of the military prosecution,
others don’t.

Can the covering of army events mean lack of patriotism?

It is more patriotism; in a couple of years everyone will understand
that nothing can be concealed. Then, the 18-20-year-old man will not
have the feeling of death. But now, when they hear that someone dies in
a military unit, and they see the same atmosphere in their own military
unit, they moderate themselves. There is the feeling that the military
unit is a closed zone and the secret of the unit must not be revealed:
but the secret of the military unit regards the weapons and state
issues. What a state secret we speak about when dealing with relations?

If the Commander of the military unit sees an incident happened but
ignores it, then, the parents should intervene and journalists should
discuss. You see where the “secrecy” led us: the number of suicides and
murders in the army is equal to war casualties. This is not a normal
situation for a country with so few soldiers. On the other hand, it is
not enough just to voice about the issues to have a healthy army. I
understand that the Minister of Defense feels bad after each death,
but I think, he has levers to use. The preventive activities of the
Minister and the Prosecutor General should be more.

Do you think the opinion that Seyran Ohanyan is embarrassed to control
the activities of certain commanders?

The Minister passed the war with many and his relations can hinder him
as much as they can help. He needs to be asked why no crimes happen
in certain military units, while in others, death keep happening,
like in the Yeghnikner unit.

Your clients are dissatisfied with the course of the investigation.

Which is the reason?

The dependent and constrained state of soldiers, which renders
the objective investigation of cases impossible. If they want to
punish the soldier, the officers give testimonies against him,
but he cannot advert to his friends, because they would not tell
the truth. In the result, we deal with “supportive” testimonies and
a defenseless soldier. The criminal case becomes a team work. They
take the testimonies of one witness and apply to the rest and work
out a version based on the testimonies they created.

Why is the military unit leadership never punished?

Many officials say that if they punish the leadership of the military
unit for any trifle, everyone would have to be punished. Then, open a
special school, take the leadership of the units there and teach them
everything. If the commander fought in the war, this does not mean he
will be a good commander at peace times. If you think, the commander
can work, hold psychological activities with them, because it is not
easy for those who fought in the war to adapt to peace. They need
to find out whether the commanders are healthy to control a military
unit and so many soldiers, or they are nervous. Comparing the army to
a family, you can see that if the parents of the family are nervous,
the family will not be calm. Our commanders rendered the war their
flag and treat others’ children the way they want because they fought
for the motherland. Commanders need to love others’ children liked
their own children.


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