ARMENIA: More conscientious objectors in prison
By Andreas Speck, War Resisters' International, 8 July 2003

War Resisters' International received information today via Forum 18 News Service ( that Armenia continues to arrest and sentence conscientious objectors, in spite of its commitment to the Council of Europe to pass a law on conscientious objection by 2003.

Araik Bedjanyan (ARM13535), a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses, was sentenced on 2 July to 1 1/2 years in labour camp for "evasion of active military service" (Article 75, part 1). He is now in Vanadzor labour camp in Northern Armenia.

Two other Jehovah's Witnesses, Artur Torosyan (ARM13536) and Suren Hakopyan (ARM13537) were arrested in Yerevan on 3 July and are now awaiting trial in Nubarashen labour camp close to Yerevan.

At present 24 Jehovah's Witnesses serve prison sentences for their refusal to perform military service, and a further eight await trial.

War Resisters' International calls for letters of support to the three imprisoned Armenia conscientious objectors.

Araik Bedjanyan, Vanadzor Labour Camp, Vanadzor, Armenia

Artur Torosyan, Suren Hakopyan, Nubarashen Labour Camp, Yerevan, Armenia

War Resisters' International calls for protest letters to the Armenian authorities, and Armenian embassies abroad. To send a protest letter to the Foreign Ministry of Armenia, go to .

War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release of Araik Bedjanyan, Artur Torosyan, Suren Hakopyan, and all other imprisoned conscientious objectors.

Mr Vartan Oskanian, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Government House #2, Republic Square, Yerevan 375010, Republic of Armenia, tel +374-1-544041,  fax +374-1-562543, email
Robert Kocharian, President of the Republic of Armenia, Baghramyan st. 24, Yerevan 375077, Republic of Armenia, fax +374-1-521581, 521796, 151152m

A list of Armenian embassies abroad can be found at

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