Armenian soldier who surrendered to Azerbaijan: Military unit’s detachment commander Suren Balayan and senior sergeant Artur Salmanyan used to beat me

Baku: Human rights defenders met with the Armenian serviceman Andranik Grigoryan, held in Azerbaijan

Chairman of Azerbaijan’s Anti-Torture Committee, human rights defender Elchin Behbudov and his deputy Elchin Shirinov have met with the Armenian soldier Andranik Grigoryan who surrendered to Azerbaijan.

Elchin Behbudov told APA in this regard that Andranik Grigoryan, born in Khojavand district in 1991, has confessed that he crossed into the Azerbaijani side with his own will.

“He told us during the talk that he is pleased with the treatment toward him here in Azerbaijan. Unlike in the military unit where he served, he is fed three times a day in Azerbaijan. Fruit juice or coffee is given time to him whenever he wants. And he is allowed to go to bathroom 3-4 times a week, take a walk in open air, and is being kept in a warm place. There is a TV set in his room. I asked him if he is given newspapers.

He said he cannot read a newspaper as he does not understand Azerbaijani. He told me that he wants to become an artist and therefore he is given a pen, a pencil and a copy book. He wanted oil paint, too. I told him that next time I would bring him oil paint and other things necessary. Andranik said the conditions in the military where he served were awful, and that he used to be beaten by detachment commander Suren Balayan and senior sergeant Artur Salmanyan. He said the soldiers there were given non-fresh foods and their place was cold and in poor conditions.

He added that other Armenian servicemen can also cross to the Azerbaijan side if they get a chance”.

On March 22, serviceman of the Armenian Armed Forces, Andranik Araratovich Grigoryan, born in Khojavand district in 1991, left the military unit and voluntarily surrendered to the Azerbaijani side.

Andranik Grigoryan said that he was born in Martuni district in 1991.

“I voluntarily surrendered to the Azerbaijani side. My act has a very simple reason. I’m afraid of senseless death. I was not alone while crossing the frontline. Another soldier attempted to cross to your side with me. I moved faster. I threw the gun and came towards your side. I don’t know what happened to him. I think that he isn’t alive anymore,” he noted.

He also added that the Armenian government wanted to hide the incident, took place on March 19, from the people, everybody is aware of it.

“More than 20 soldiers were killed and dozens wounded during a trivial provocation. Civilians are taken to the posts due to shortage of soldiers. I do not want to be the next victim of their dirty games. The horrific conditions in Nagorno-Karabakh, indiscipline in military units, lack of ammunition, shortage of food and medicine, conflict between the local Armenians and Armenian Armenians, officers’ bad attitude toward the soldiers and ensigns, disorder have worn me out.

There are a lot of people tired of living in such conditions and wanting to cross to Azerbaijan like me. Frankly, they don’t dare to do it, as they don’t know what expect them here. I also thought a lot before taking this step, then decided to surrender voluntarily, instead of waiting for my death. In sharp contrast to my expectations, you welcomed me here normal and gave me enough food and drink,” Grigoryan underlined.

SOURCE: Azeri-Press News Agency