Amnesty Declared for Draft Dodgers

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Armenia’s Prosecutor General Agvan Hovsepyan has issued instructions to all local and regional prosecutors to immediately place a moratorium on the detention of Armenian Citizens caught for dodging military service, said Prosecutor General Press Secretary Sona Truzian.
According to Article 327 of Armenia’s criminal code, all citizens caught evading military service are subject to prosecution and imprisonment.
According to Truzian, individuals who have evaded military service may prevent detainment and prosecution if they register with local police and agree to complete their military service. The changes also apply to Armenian citizens who return to the country after having left in order to dodge military service obligations.
In other news, the Armenian Government announced Thursday that it will grant deferment of military service for a number of clergymen and students.
In accordance with the Law on Military Service the government of Armenia has decided today to grant draft deferment to 9 clergymen of the Mother See Saint Etchmiadzin. The decision also applies also to 35 other clergymen who will be eligible for draft deferment in 2009.
14 monks of the Armenian Saint Jacob School in Jerusalem and 7 students of the humanitarian college in Calcutta, India, which is governed by Etchmiadzin, were also granted draft deferment.
Draft deferment was also granted to three other individuals. In this connection Education and Science Minister Levon Mkrtchian, of the ARF parliamentary faction, said the deferment will be effective until their graduation.

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