SEPTEMBER 12, 2016
On September 6, 2016, authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh released 20-year-old Artur Avanesyan from Shushi prison, based on a general amnesty. Mr. Avanesyan had served 26 months of a 30-month prison sentence on the charge of evading military service. In reality, he had applied for alternative civilian service, but the authorities ignored his request. The young man is delighted to be reunited with his family.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are grateful for Mr. Avanesyan’s release from prison. They hope that the authorities will recognize the right of conscientious objection and offer young men in Nagorno-Karabakh the opportunity to perform alternative civilian service in lieu of compulsory military service.