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Belgian Man Arrested in Yerevan Deprived of Attorney, Interpreter and His Medication

Yerevan resident, Belgian activist Luc Wadewale who yesterday was charged under RA Criminal Code Article 258 Section 3 Paragraphs 1 and 2 (“hooliganism”) cannot communicate with investigators as he has not yet been provided with an interpreter, Wadewale’s wife, Gayane Vardanyan, told Epress.am. According to Vardanyan, after her husband was moved to the holding cell for detainees, he was not allowed even to meet with his attorney.

Vardanyan noted that her husband has heart issues and high blood pressure and needs to take medication for these; however, investigators are not permitting even these to be given to him, explaining that they’re not familiar with the contents of the medication — yet they are refusing to consult with a doctor.

Recall, Wadewale was detained Monday at noon.

Vardanyan, who is a member of the opposition bloc Armenian National Congress (HAK), on Monday told Epress.am what happened. According to her, the couple yesterday received a call from their daughter’s classmate’s parent who said that they are collecting 3,000 drams (about $8 USD) each for heating at the school.

“We went to see the principal, who, as usual, wasn’t there. We spoke with the vice-principal, wanting to know why there’s no heating and why the parents have to pay for it. The vice-principal complained that the state is not funding them. We called the Education Ministry’s hotline where they told us that the school has no right to collect money and we asked that they send someone to this school, but this never happened,” said Vardanyan.

According to her, a verbal altercation erupted between the vice-principal and several teachers on this matter. At this point, insists Vardanyan, her husband accidentally bumped into a portrait of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan on the wall that subsequently fell and the glass broke.

“They threatened to call the police. When we came home, about 15 police officers came after us. Then they took us both to the police station. After keeping me for 5–6 hours, they let me go, but they’re not releasing my husband. The investigator told me that he’s arrested. They’re not even letting an interpreter in to see him for my husband to understand why they’re keeping him,” she said.