ARMENIA: New wave of sentences against Jehovah's Witnesses
War Resisters' International learned from Forum 18 News Service about a new wave of sentences against Jehovah's Witnesses refusing military service in Armenia. Arman Agazaryan (ARM14713) refused to be drafted into the army on grounds of religious conscience, and was arrested on 23 December 2004. He was tried in Yerevan in mid-March, and received a prison sentence of 1 1/2 years in prison. He is now being held in Nubarashen prison. Sergei Hovhanissyan (ARM14714) was sentenced to 1 1/2 years in early March and is now being held in Nubarashen prison. Gevork Manukyan (ARM14715) was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment on 16 March and is also being held in Nubarashen. Arsen Gasparyan (ARM14716) was sentenced in Vedi in the Ararat region to 1 1/2 years imprisonment on 17 March. He too is imprisoned in Nubarashen. Ashot Torgomyan (ARM14717) was sentenced to 2 years' imprisonment in March.
War Resisters' International calls for protest letters to the Armenian authorities, or Armenian embassies abroad. A protest email can be sent at http://wri-irg.org/co/alerts/20050322a.html. War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release of Arman Agazaryan, Sergei Hovhanissyan, Gevork Manukyan, Arsen Gasparyan, Ashot Torgomyan and all other imprisoned conscientious objectors in Armenia.
War Resisters' International
Mr Vartan Oskanian
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Government House #2
Republic of Armenia
President of the Republic of Armenia
Baghramyan st. 24
fax +374-1-521581, 521796, 151152
A list of Armenian embassies abroad can be found at http://www.armeniaforeignministry.com/htms/embassiesList.html
Archives of co-alert can be found at http://wri-irg.org/news/alerts