On 8 June, an extended session of the Expert Council on Military Servicemen Rights Issues adjunct to the Human Rights Defender was held during which the issues in the RA Armed Forces and suggested solutions reflected in 2017 Annual Report of the Defender were presented and discussed.
“The majority of the complaints addressed to the RA Human Rights Defender during 2017 related to proper medical examination of conscripts during conscription period, to appeals against the justifications of the results of the decisions adopted by medical and military expertise commissions, as well as to issues about deferment of compulsory military service due to health condition", stated the Human Rights Defender Dr. Arman Tatoyan in the opening speech.
The Head of Council of Europe Office in Yerevan Ms. Natalia Voutova in her opening speech highlighted the importance of holding an expanded session on this topic and noted that issues related to this field are under their attention.
During the meeting, the representatives of the Human Rights Defender's Office referred to issues revealed within the activities of the Defender during 2017 that concern the health maintenance and proper medical examination of conscripts, medical care of military servicemen, protection of the rights of military servicemen during disciplinary proceedings, access to and discharge from military service, right to accommodation of military servicemen and their family members, etc. The Defender's Office presented suggestions on solutions of all the recorded issues.
Visits to garrison military hospitals were also conducted during 2017, where medical treatment of servicemen, its results and medical records were examined within the complaints addressed to the Human Rights Defender.
The representatives of the Defender's Office have also participated in the sessions of Central Medical Commission; the issues in regard to health condition of conscripts have been jointly discussed within the discussion of the received complaints.
As a result of joint discussions and visits with the RA Ministry of Defense, medical examination for conscripts and double military medical examination for military serviceperson have been assigned, the conscripts have received the right to deferment, and military servicemen have been sent to military hospitals and received appropriate treatment.
The standards of the Council of Europe with regard to human rights in armed forces, as well as the project "Strengthening the Application of European Human Rights Standards in the Armed Forces in Armenia" have also been presented within the discussion.
The representatives of international organizations, human rights NGOs, as well as state bodies and representatives of "Strengthening Application of European Human Rights Standards in the Armed Forces in Armenia" project attended the event.
The Defender always attaches great importance to the activities of non-governmental organizations in the field of protection of rights of military servicemen, the Ministry of Defense, as well as other state bodies concerned.