Armenia

ECHR orders to compensate Jehovah's Witnesses who refused army service

MOSCOW, November 27 - RAPSI. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) granted several local Jehovah's Witnesses 124,000 Euros in damages from the Armenian government. The individuals filed a complaint in relation to the legality of being arrested for evading military or alternative service.

Armenia: Changes to conscription likely as imprisonment of conscientious objectors resumes

In August two new conscientious objectors were imprisoned in Armenia - both Jehovah's Witnesses - after a break of a year. This brings the number of COs imprisoned in Armenia to 32. Additionally, 16 people (also Jehovah's Witnesses) have been given jail terms in 2012 but have yet to be incarcerated as their appeals are pending. There are a further 23 cases waiting to be heard.

Gevorg Sahakyan

Activist:
Detention centre:
Start of detention:
  • 23 Aug 2012
End of detention:
  • 27 Nov 2013
Country:
  • Armenia
Description:
  • Jehovah's Witness CO. Sentenced to 24 months for refusing to perform military service (article 327, para I). Released early in a conscientious objector prison amnesty.

Gevorg Sahakyan

Country:
  • Armenia
Activist type:
  • Conscientious objector
Status:
  • Serving sentence


Maksim Khudoyan

Activist:
Detention centre:
Start of detention:
  • 6 Aug 2012
End of detention:
  • 27 Nov 2013
Country:
  • Armenia
Description:
  • Jehovah's Witness CO. Sentenced to 30 months for refusing to perform military service (article 327, para I). Released early in conscientious objector prisoner amnesty.

Maksim Khudoyan

Country:
  • Armenia
Activist type:
  • Conscientious objector
Status:
  • Serving sentence


Armenian Defense Ministry implements professional component expansion steps in the armed forces

Yerevan, August 14, ARMENPRESS: The Armenian armed forces recruitment mixed principle continues to be the main. As “Armenpress” reports the Armenian Minister of Defense Seyran Ohanyan noted about this during the meeting with the hawk participants on August 14.

To his word although all the states are rapidly moving towards the formation of professional armies, “however, because of our geographical conditions, we still take steps to expand the professional component and try to gradually increase the contractual service”.

Armenia: Venice Commission says draft amendments to alternative service law insufficient

The Venice Commission, the Council of Europe's "European Commission for Democracy through Law" was asked by the Armenian government to comment on its draft law to amend the Alternative Service Law of the country.

The European Commission for Democracy through Law, better known as the Venice Commission, is the Council of Europe's advisory body on constitutional matters.

Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights condemns imprisonment of conscientious objectors

On 2 February 2012, the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, demanded that the right to conscientious objection to military service should be guaranteed in all parts of Europe. In his blog post, he stated:

"People should not be imprisoned when their religious or other convictions prevent them from doing military service. Instead they should be offered a genuinely civilian alternative. This is now the established European standard, respected in most countries – but there are some unfortunate exceptions."

European Court of Human Rights consolidates its jurisprudence on conscientious objection

Following the Grand Chamber judgment in the case of Bayatyan v Armenia from July 2011, in which the European Court of Human Rights for the first time recognised the right to conscientious objection as a right recognised under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights (see CO-Update No 67, August 2011), several chambers of the European Court have no consolidated this new jurisprudence of the Court.

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