Armenian conscientious objectors
Use this form to send the letter below to the relevant authority (Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, Vartan Oskanian). You can add your own notes in a separate box after the standard text, if you wish.
You must include a name, address, and email address; a copy will be sent to you with a cc to the WRI office (so we have a record of how many email letters have been sent out for this particular case).
I am deeply troubled about the imprisonment of conscientious objectors Araik Bedjanyan, Artur Torosyan, and Suren Hakopyan. Ariak Bedjanyan was sentenced to 1 1/2 years labour camp on 2 July, while the other two were arrested on 3 July, and are now in Nubarashen Labour Camp, awaiting trial. These COs, and several other conscientious objectors in Armenia, are send to prison because they refuse to bear arms. Their imprisonment is a violation of their human right to conscientious objection, derived from article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Armenia pledged to recognise the right to conscientious objection when it joined the Council of Europe. However, no legislation was passed yet, while conscientious objectors still end up in prison. This is scandalous, and will be brought to the attention of the Council of Europe.
I therefore call on you, Mr Vartan Oskanian, to act immediately in accordance with international human rights standards, and to finally recognise the right to conscientious objection. In the meantime, all imprisoned conscientious objectors should be released, and proceedings should be put on hold for all those who declare their conscientious objection, until a law on conscientious objection was passed.