ArmInfo.Five Armenian students went on a hunger strike in protest against the bill to cancel the deferment of compulsory military service. They are on hunger strike in one of the auditoriums of Yerevan State University.
Member of the initiative "For the Development of Science" David Petrosyan on his Facebook page noted that they are thus fighting the indifference of the public and the bill that repeals the postponement of service. "We, four of us have already served in the army, we are announcing a hunger strike from now on." I call not to break the door, we are not going to enter into any dispute with anyone," Petrosyan said live.
Armenian students have been on strike for a week against the bill "On military service and the status of a serviceman," which assumes the complete abolition of deferment from compulsory military service for all young people who have reached the age of 18 and who do not have health problems incompatible with military service. On November 9, Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan received students, Minister of Education and Science Levon Mkrtchyan and Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan participated in the meeting. They tried to persuade students in the advisability of legislative initiative, but in vain. The students were not convinced by the arguments of high-ranking officials, and they decided to continue the strike. Earlier, the students rejected Vigen Sargsyan's invitation to meet. Then on November 10, students held a protest near the National Assembly building, when the bill was due to be discussed there. However, due to a strange coincidence, the meeting did not take place due to the absence of a quorum. It was held late at night, when the students parted.
The law "On military service and the status of serviceman" adopted in the first reading radically changes the procedure for receiving a postponement from military service with the purpose of studying. In accordance with it, only those citizens who conclude an agreement with the Ministry of Defense can undertake a postponement, undertaking to undergo military training during their studies, and upon completion of studies to serve in the army in the place specified by the Ministry of Defense for three years. Otherwise, they will be drafted into the army after reaching the age of 18 for a period of two years. By the way, according to the draft law, persons who are recruited for military service, in addition to studying, can also use the right to defer for family reasons and health.
Noteworthy in particular are the benefits provided in case of having children. In this case, according to the draft law, from the compulsory military service those young people, who before the conscription have two or more children, with the exception of the adopted ones, can be released. Another noteworthy point is that from the service in the army, those young people whose wife is pregnant with at least twins and whose gestational age is six months can be released.
Parliament, today discusses the draft law "On military service and the status of a serviceman" in the second reading. Artak Zakaryan, Deputy Defense Minister, represents the bill in the parliament.