Author of The Book about Armenian Army Faces Prosecution

Hovhannes Ishkhanian, a young Armenian writer, is facing prosecution for a limited edition (300 copies) book he published, which the Armenian police claim contains pornography.
Ishkhanyan, 24, was summoned for questioning for his book “The Demob Day” by the military police and then by the Kentron police station. He was told at the Military police, that the book contained false information, discredited the army and insulted the religion and Armenian mothers.” Authorities threatened to open a case against the writer under 263rd article of the Criminal Code which foresees heavy penalties and a jail term of up to 3 years for “disseminating pornographic materials and objects.”
The situation with the police got me interested, so I read the book. Admittedly, reading was without enjoyment. The book contains too much violence and vulgar language for my taste, but that’s about it. One can hardly expect a book about the Armenian Army to contain a lot of tenderness and poetic speach – after wall, we’re talking about a structure, were dozens of soldiers die every year in non-combat situation, mainly because of hazing, violence and pressure, which forces soldiers into committing suicides.
The writer, who has published the book after returning from his conscription based military service, says it is fiction, even if it is partly derived from Ishkanian’s personal experience.
The heroes of the book, young soldiers who died or became crippled during military service, tell horror stories of mistreatment by military officers.
The terms with which the writer describes military officers, has clearly got them offended. It seems that it took the authorities are trying to figure out other ways to punish Ishkhanian.
Needless to say, that we’re witnessing a clear case of censorship, which is totally unacceptable.
Armenian internet activists and writer’s friends have launched a petition demanding to stop the persecutions against Hovhannes Ishkhanyan.   If you agree with the statement above, please make sure to sign it.

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. You know, I think cases like this make those books super popular.
    I also think this case, Mashtots Park case and others simply ruin ruling Republican party’s image, even more than helpless oppositional attempts to criticize the government.
    The government is so dumb it doesn’t realize every small censorship case may influence upcoming elections more than anything else.

    1. Like I said, I wouldn’t read this book if it wasn’t for this case.
      I mean – who would have otherwise known this guy? Only some 140 copies of the book had been sold so far of the total amount of just 300 copies printed.
      Now, I bet, the book will havr to be reprinted, to satisfy demand :))

  2. […] Armenian Observer even made a point to read the book. The situation with the police got me interested, so I read the book. Admittedly, reading was […]

  3. […] Armenian Observer even made a point to read the book. The situation with the police got me interested, so I read the book. Admittedly, reading was […]

  4. […] Блогът The Armenian Observer дори показва защо би трябвало да се прочете книгата: […]

  5. […] Observer såg till att läsa boken [en]: Situationen med polisen väckte mitt intresse, så jag läste boken. Jag måste erkänna att […]

  6. […] Armenian Observer дури наведува зошто треба да ја прочитате книгата. Ме заинтересира ситуацијата со полицијата, па ја […]

  7. OK, what has happened to this case since March?

    1. charges have been dropped. I’ll check the details next week and get back to you with updates

    1. ok. So the case is closed, charges are dropped.

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