Armenian student activists 'renewing hunger-strike' to demand army deferment

14:39 • 18.12.17



After desperate attempts of constructive dialogue with the authorities, students of the Yerevan State University have decided to renew their campaign for re-establishing the right to military deferment.


David Petrosyan, who heads the civic group For Developing Science, announced in a Facebook video address on Monday morning that they have decided to go on a hunger-strike again to raise the demand for revising the recently amended legislation.


“Our campaign ended during the hunger-strike. So we are launching a hunger-strike again until our demand is met,” he said.


Members of the group want the previous law “On Military Service and the Status of Servicemen” to be in effect to allow students of government-funded educational institutions to be exempt from military service until the completion of their studies.  


“The Ministry of Defense won't accept the negative impact of the law upon science, and the importance of the right to deferment. Our joint work with parliament members and officials of the Ministry of Defense did not yield any tangible result. Those negotiations are going on not for the purpose of finding solutions but just for keeping the process going.  So it doesn't make any sense to continue them under the current conditions,” Petrosyan added.

The protesting students ended their week-long teach-in and hunger-strike on November 15, agreeing to a plan for a civilized debate with the authorities.

 

The National Assembly passed the controversial bill on November 15.

 

President Serzh Sargsyan signed the measure into law on November 29.

Hakob Aslanyan





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