Imprisonment of conscientious objectors Anania Grigoryan and Artsrun Khachatryan
Use this form to contact the Armenian Prime Minister, Tigran Sargsyan, via his Chief of Staff David Sargsyan. 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).
Dear Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan,
I am writing to express my concern about the imprisonment of Anania Grigoryan and Artsrun Khachatryan, Jehovah's Witness conscientious objectors imprisoned for 24 and 30 months respectively.
Although sentenced in June and July respectively, they were imprisoned after their appeals were rejected (Grigoryan on the 15th November, Khachatryan on 26th). They are both in Nubarashen prison near Yerevan.
They are changed under Article 327, Part 1, of the criminal code, which punishes evasion of the call-up to military or alternative service.
May I remind you that the right to conscientious objection was affirmed by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Bayatyan v Armenia in July 2011.
Armenia's failure to free imprisoned conscientious objectors and introduce a civilian substitute to military service has repeatedly been condemned by international organisations of which Armenia is a member, including by the Council of Europe.
In report of 14 March 2012, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) complained that the process of bringing the Alternative Service Law into line with Armenia's commitments "has taken an excessively long time, especially given that persons that refuse both military and alternative service are being arrested and sentenced to prison, in contradiction with Armenia's commitments to the Council of Europe".
I urge you to respect the human right to conscientious objection. I urge you to immediately release all imprisoned conscientious objectors,