Thursday, September 9, 2010

Open Letter To Seyran Ohanyan, from the Mother of Artak Nazaryan

[The following is copied and pasted directly from online sources English, Armenian:Արտակ Նազարյանի մոր բաց նամակը Սեյրան Օհանյանին,
with a typographical correction done on September 13]

Hasmik Hovhannisyan, mother of contract soldier Artak Nazaryan who died on July 27 in the military unit of the Mehrab village, Tavush Marz, has written an open letter to Minister of Defense Seyran Ohanyan. We present that letter in its entirety below:

At 7:00 AM on July 27th, according to the official version, my son Artak Nazaryan ostensibly “committed suicide.” I maintain that my son could never have done such a thing. He believed in God, he had a Father Confessor, he was a member of the Holy Trinity Fraternal Order up until he received his orders from the Ministry of Defense and began to work. For him, God’s laws had become flesh and blood, and he clearly knew that not only murder is a sin, but suicide, as well, and for that greatest of sins the punishment would be horrible.

I know that to speak of higher spiritual values is ludicrous for you.

They killed my son. They killed him in a premeditated manner and in calculated, cold blood. They eliminated from their path the light that perturbed them, the good and the honest. Such animals are evil and are the product of an atmosphere of impunity. They are not ordinary murderers; they are traitors to the fatherland who brutally kill and obliterate the officer who defends the border.

To hide the traces of their brutality, they elevated his body above the 300-meter position, placed him in the enemy’s line of sight, relying on the shots of enemy snipers. But the Turks realized that if the officer leaning there was not already killed, then he was half dead, and the Armenians needed a pretext to blame the enemy side for the death of the soldier killed by their own hands. But having been proven wrong in their calculations, and to put an end to the problem of the half dead officer, they placed the barrel of the automatic weapon in his mouth, and fired. Rather than calling a doctor, helping him, washing his innumerable wounds before killing him—and with that easing their guilt—they went to the very end.

It is not known by whose order such people were being protected, from the beginning, hiding the obvious murder under the shroud of “suicide.” Those working in that direction, by deliberately distorting evidence, supposedly push the work forward in the name of the Armenian Army. They, too, are traitors to the nation and the fatherland. And with that action, they are casting down even further the pride of the army, putting a stamp of blood and shame on the army and on the brow of its leadership.

The only way to wash off the blood and shame is through a fair investigation, which from the beginning has suffered serious shortcomings.

They did not lift fingerprints from my son, according to them, before his body cooled; they worked without gloves; the house where my son lived was not sealed off. Ten days after the incident a search was conducted at his house, from which my son’s 2010 diary was not found. Nothing was said about the seized material. I don’t know whether the military bag and winter jacket he took with him this time still exist, or not.

My son’s body was sent to Yerevan completely naked. Where are my son’s military uniforms? I have put stitches on those uniforms with my own hands and know them well; perhaps they are going to exchange them. There would be numerous marks left on the uniform from a brutally committed murder.

To preserve the body, they asked us for 40 kilograms of ice. It wasn’t enough that a horrific crime, which has no name, had been committed. And after all that, to ease out of their guilt, they wanted to send him home in a closed casket; and only after my begging and pleading did they fix his face, covering it with a ton of makeup, bringing him home on the 29th, at the end of a work day. Already at that time there were worms in his nose, for which we invited a doctor. He cleaned his nostrils of the worms and sealed them with special fluids.

The next day, on July 30th, we buried him. His body was in a horrible state. This is evidence that the event did not happen on July 27th, but earlier, on the night of the 24th. Where was his body placed until he was moved to Yerevan, and why? There was not going to be an autopsy at that place, they only acted that way to take off his clothing, a favor for some people.

One of the pallbearers of my dead son’s body was the battalion commander. He was untroubled, and spoke as though nothing had happened. He was that commander about whom my son had spoken with his father, saying, ‘Father, there are two individuals after me, the political officer and the battalion commander, especially the latter.’

All the necessary information which should have helped to solve the case has been deliberately delayed, which speaks to the fact that the case is being led, purposefully, in another direction to cover up for the beastly army commanders who stick close to their feeding troughs, and for the battalion commander who told my husband who had gone to receive my son’s body, and in the presence of relatives, that my son was a weak officer.

To my husband’s question as to who was the first to see the body, the political officer answered that he had, and that supposedly he had found a suicide note in my son’s pocket and had kept it.

The note was discovered two days after my son’s house was searched, and his house was searched ten days after the incident. Investigator Madatyan hastily sent off the forged note found for examination. That forged note isn’t worth a penny for me, based on its content; it was written after the murder.

My son’s notebook, which I don’t know if was stolen from his house or, according to their version, taken from his pocket, was ripped apart like my son’s body. They had removed all of the pages and left only three dated pages and one torn page where the word “suicide” had been forged. They didn’t show us the original; how many secrets the original would have revealed…

Does the person about to commit “suicide” climb 300 meters, torment his own body, smash his own head and teeth, fire into his own mouth and not on the bestial torturers?

Mr. Minister, a question arises: How is it that a 30-year-old young man who had graduated from the Faculty of Oriental Studies of Yerevan State Institute, being inexperienced in the filthy dealings of the military of which you are well aware, and who had treated the soldiers of the battalion as his own brothers, who loved the Lord, would forget all and commit suicide?

Why do you not, the head of the entire system, although they say even of you that you are a feeble minister who has no say in anything, want to cleanse the army and the entire structure of the blood and filth, and truly punish the guilty? If that task is beyond your capabilities, then you too, like my son, should commit “suicide” and leave a genuine note saying that as a high-ranking military man, you are ashamed to have such a corrupt Armenian army.

So then, all those who wittingly or unwittingly participated in the murder of my son—beginning with the commander who issued the order and whom you relieved of his responsibilities rather than arrest; the soldiers who witnessed the incident; those who instigated the fight; those who committed the actual violent acts; those who held his arms down; those who bashed his head in (i.e., the political officer, as a result of whose assault, if my son didn’t die, was rendered unconscious and left in that condition for days on end until they could decide what to do next); the inspector; those who moved his body and whose crude fingerprints were left on the broken arms of my son, ending with those who have buried the system in corruption and whose hands are stained not only with the blood of my son, but also of many other youths like my son—you should make all of them stand before a tribunal not as ordinary criminals but as traitors to the fatherland, traitors for whom there is no sanctity except their bellies. In times of war, traitors to the fatherland are shot by a firing squad.

Mother of Nazaryan, Hasmik Hovhannisyan
In a postscript in the letter sent to Seyran Ohanyan through the online newspaper Hasmik Hovhannisyan has also noted: “I wanted to send this letter to you directly, but convinced that such letters are never read, I preferred to publish it in the press so that you would be forced to read it.”

[The picture is used with permission]

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