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Seda Ghukasyan

Armenian Parliament's Defense and Security Committee Approves Bill to Exempt Brothers of War Dead from Military Service

The Armenian parliament’s Standing Committee on Defense and Security has approved a draft that would release the brothers of those killed during the defense of the country from compulsory military service.

Civil Contract faction MP Hayk Sargsyan, who sponsored the bill, said that he’s met with the parents of those killed and that many don’t want their other sons to be drafted.

Sargsyan said the number of those exempted wouldn’t be so great as to decrease the effectiveness of the military.

He said here there are currently sixteen servicemen serving in the army whose brothers were killed while performing military service, and that they too would be demobilized if the bill passes.

With Honor faction Taguhi Tovmasyan pushed back, arguing that no differentiation should be made and that the bill is legally problematic.

With Honor MP Tigran Abrahamyan suggested that the soldiers in question could be given non-military desk work.

Sargsyan disagreed, saying that some 8,000-10,000 people are exempted from military service annually, mostly for health reasons, and that exempting another twenty or so wouldn’t pose any problem.

"We have released more than 60,000 people from conscription in the last eight years. I am sure half of them were fit for the army," he said.

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