Armenia: Youth author confronted military censorship

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Society & You - Social Critic
Sunday, 08 April 2012 11:37

Hovhannes Ishkhanyan, 24, computer programmer, and like many others, exrecluta the Armenian army, is in the spotlight in the Soviet exrepública after writing a literary work which describes life in the country's military.

Despite a run of just 300 copies, the Armenian army prosecutor says that the book defamed the military, religious insults and mothers. Demob Day has been pulled from the shelves of at least two bookstores in Yerevan, the Armenian capital.

Ironically, the city celebrates its status as World Book Capital by UNESCO [in], but that's little consolation to Ishkanyan, facing trial under Article 263 of the Criminal Code of Armenia for the illegal distribution of pornographic materials or items .

Demob Day

If found guilty, he could be sentenced Ishkhanyan payment of a fine or imprisonment up to two or three years. Ianyan comments on the case [in].

The Armenian army has been suffering from a curse of bad PR in recent years, it produced no reported deaths in combat have plagued the institution. Activists often protest the deaths, accusing the army of not investigating properly and to pass the murders as suicides. In September 2010, published an amateur video on YouTube where alleged abuse in the Armenian army. Won holders within and outside the country.

Of the 16 fictional stories in "Day release", three relate to issues related to the military. One, entitled "Military March," about a hundred soldiers marching and, withdrawing their military identification cards, begin to relate the experiences of his life in the army, is the one that has angered authorities, according Ishkhanyan.

Even, The Armenian Observer noted with regard to reading the book [on].

The situation with the police interested me, so I read the book. I admit that I read without enjoyment. The book contains too much violence and profanity for my taste, but that's all. You can hardly expect a book about the Armenian army contains a lot of tenderness and poetic tone - after all, we are talking about a structure where dozens of soldiers die every year in non-combat situations, mainly because of bullying, violence and pressure the forced to commit suicide.

[...]

The heroes of the book, young soldiers who died or were maimed during military service, have horror stories of abuse by military officers.

[...]

Needless to say, we are witnessing a clear case of censorship, which is totally unacceptable.

Unzipped also commented [on] and drew attention to a request [in] launched in support of the young writer. "Incredible," wrote the blogger. "What time are we living?! Say a firm NO to attempts to return to Armenia to the dark days of Stalinism. "

Hovhannes Ishkhanyan © Nazik Armenakyan, ArmeniaNow

There is also an interview with Ishkanyan last year [in] which the author addresses the issue of freedom of expression and military culture in Armenia in Artist For Artist.

Posted by Onnik Krikorian · Translated by Gabriela Garcia Calderon Orbe · View original post [en] · Comments (0)
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