Caucasus Reality 14 november — 12:43

Ara Papyan: 'Armenian generals should be imprisoned for April war'

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Armenian political scientist, director of Modus Vivendi Centre Ara Papyan criticised the draft law 'On military service and the status of servicemen,' according to which in Armenia it is planned to cancel the postponement for students who are studying in universities on state order.

According to the expert, the bill passed in the first reading by the National Assembly of Armenia, will only strengthen emigration.

'People are already taking their children out of the country prior to turning 18 years old so that they do not serve in teh armed forces,' Papyan is cited by News.am. 'With this law, emigration will pick up a new pace.'

According to him, although the bill has good motives, it will not provide justice, there are still roundabout ways. 'We need to accept a proposal, for example, that people who have not served in the army will not be able to occupy certain positions,' added the expert.

Papyan said that Azerbaijan has an advantage over Armenia in that it relies on technology, rather than on human resources.

'Despite the development of information technology, we continue to strengthen the army with people, while the most important losses are human losses. In this regard, Azerbaijan has the advantage, the emphasis is put on technology,' the director of the Modus Vivendi emphasised, while adding that the factor of justice in the army is very important.

According to him, justice in the army is also important. 'For example, now prisons must be filled with generals and officers who lost the April war.'

It should be noted that the new bill caused an extremely negative reaction in the Armenian society. Students went to the streets of Yerevan, demanding that they be allowed to attend the bill's hearings.

A meeting of representatives of the protest students with the Prime Minister of Armenia Karen Karapetyan was held, however, after the discussion, the parties failed to reach a common denominator. The PM offered to present demands on the law after its final approval in the National Assembly. And students believe that they should be considered in advance and immediately included in the final bill.

The new bill provides for compulsory military service for all categories of students. The postponement from the army for educational purposes will be given only to those students who will conclude a civil legal contract with the Ministry of Defence. Under the contract, students after completing their studies in a bachelor's degree, obtaining the status of a certified specialist or training in an integrated education system in universities accredited in Armenia, undertake to perform military service in the designated units of the Armenian Armed Forces. At the same time, during training they must undergo military training. The service life in this case will be three years, unlike the usual two.

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