Four Arrested Following Another Non-Combat Death in Armenian Army

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–One officer and three soldiers have been arrested in connection with yet another non-combat death in the Armenian army ranks, the Defense Ministry said on Friday.

Gevorg Kotinian, a 19-year-old conscript, was found dead on February 6 at an army unit stationed in Nagorno-Karabakh. Military investigators say he was beaten to death by fellow soldiers.

According to the Defense Ministry’s Investigative Service, two of those soldiers have been taken into custody and could be charged with involuntary manslaughter. A spokesperson for the service told RFE/RL’s Armenian service that their immediate commanders, a lieutenant and sergeant, have also been arrested. They are suspected of “inactivity” and abuse of power.

Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian was challenged to comment on Kotinian’s death during the Armenian government’s question-and-answer session in parliament on Wednesday. Ohanian told lawmakers that he will do his best to ensure that the case is solved and all guilty servicemen are punished.

The deadly incident dealt a further blow to the Armenian military’s assurances that it is combating army crime in earnest. Ohanian has personally pledged to strengthen the army’s discipline on numerous occasions in recent months. Dozens of military personnel have been arrested, fired or demoted since August.

Still, human rights groups and families of dead soldiers continue to assert that the military authorities are not doing enough to tackle the problem. Late last month, President Serzh Sarkisian was publicly confronted by angry parents alleging a cover-up in the criminal investigations into the violent deaths of their sons.

Speaking to the protesters, Sarkisian promised to pay “special attention” to those inquiries. He said Armenia’s new military prosecutor, Gevorg Kostanian, will meet with them and look into their grievances.

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6 Comments

  1. AK said:

    This is such a sad story. I think we all know that some Armenian men can be very rough towards others, especially those who do not fit in or who “offend their honor”. Something needs to be done about this problem. The enemy is Azerbaijan, not fellow Armenians!

    Demotions, pay cuts, and forced bread&water fasts should be used more often to combat lesser crimes. If lesser crimes go unpunished, they have a tendency to escalate into more grave crimes. It is somewhat similar to marijuana use, which leads to cocaine or heroin use if not suppressed.

  2. Avetis said:

    Th problem here is our traditional/conservative and isolated existence in the Caucasus. The inherent weakness within us is our families, our mindsets and our social practices. Armenian men are pampered and raised to be self-righteous and aggressive. The typical Armenian male will kill if given the opportunity if his mother is the recipient of a sexual insult. Armenian men do not know how to handle sexuality. For the typical Armenian man, women are separated into two categories – saint and slut. There is no middle. They seek to have children with the saint – but then go about spend their free times with the slut. An Armenian man’s idea of a real man is one that smokes like a chimney, east a lot of grilled meat, drives a Benz/BMW and listens to Turkish music disguised as Armenian…

    These are all the by-products of an Asiatic/Islamic/Turkic mentality that has been prevalent in Armenians for centuries. As I have said in the past: we are a by-product of a thousand year of genetic, cultural and spiritual damage. This thousand year old damage will not be fixed very easily.

    • bigmoustache said:

      wow thats about the most ignorant thing ive read..
      first of all, armenians of the caucasus (present day armenia) were not occupied or influenced by turks or islamic regimes. this is CLEARLY russian influence and europeanization. these morons are acting like russians!
      belive me, the armenians who lived under turkish occupation and within arab countries are more nationalistic, family respecting, we dont abuse alcohol like russians..
      THE SOLUTION should be a comittee set up by the ARF, a government comittee that seriously handles and investigates ALL complaints of abuses. there needs to be a representative of this comittee in EVERY army barracks in the country so ANY abuse, even the most minor, can be reported.
      then, THE MOST IMPORTANT PART, the punishments for men wearing the uniform must be MUCH more severe than civilian cases. we need to start NOW to make a SERIOUS example to any armenian committing an abuse or crime in the military…sorry to say this but get ‘saddam’ on their asses and this $#!% will end RIGHT AWAY

      • Anoush said:

        It’s people like you who divide this nation further by making such a blatant and, quite frankly, an insulting distinction between Eastern and Western Armenians. You are not a patriot, you’re a cancer of our people.

        • Avetis said:

          Anoush jan, apres, I fully agree with you. These types of Middle Eastern Armenians put us to shame. These people may speak of Armenia and Armenians but they are Turks/Arabs at heart.

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