In support of those who defend us…

L to R: Hrayr Karapetyan, Artashes Shahbazyan, Ara Nranyan and Lilit Galstyan

ARF-D parliamentarians Ara Nranyan, Artashes Shahbazyan and Lilit Galstyan introduced a new bill in parliament on October 7, where for the first time in the country’s Criminal Code, legislation will be set to protect lawyers, to ensure their activities are not barred and their lives are not threatened. In the case of creating obstacles to their activities, a three year sentence or a fine of 200-400 times the minimum pay would be set and in cases where their lives are threatened, a fine of 200-500 times the minimum pay. Moreover, this kind of criminal activity will be considered to be directed against the justice system and just as it is for similar cases registered against state prosecutors or judges.

The government’s representative suggested including public notaries in the new bill, arguing that similar pressure can be brought to bear against them as well. The example of the murder of a public notary in the Armenian city of Vanatzor was brought as proof of this necessity. The ARF-D parliamentarions accepted the proposal made by the government. The first reading of the bill will be held during the next parliamentary session.

Meanwhile, Hrayr Karapetyan, a member of ARF-Dashnaktsutyun parliamentary faction and chairman of the parliament’s standing committee on national security, defense and internal affairs, announced that the recent non-combatant deaths in the Armenian army should be carefully investigated. During the parliament’s session he stated that the recent incidents are under close scrutiny by the committee. “We’re ready to organize parliamentary hearings on the issue,” he noted. Today, however, the parliamentary committee held a closed door meeting, to which high ranking officials and officers were invited. The representatives of the relevant structures of the Ministry of Defence introduced reports about the criminal cases. Issues concerning the prevention of the ongoing negative phenomena in the army were discussed. The deputies presented proposals on how to combat and eradicate those phenomena.