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Detainees in ‘Gang Case’ Say They are Being Tortured in Prison

The defendants in the "gang case" and their attorneys continue to report violations in the case. After the court hearing on Monday, three defense attorneys — Stepan Voskanyan, Samvel Hovhannisyan, and Karen Hakobyan — spoke to eTV about instances of torture applied to their clients, noting that evidence obtained in this way should not be considered in court and should not become the basis for incriminatory charges. In this case, 5 suspects are being accused of burglary and stealing from residential apartments in Sept. 2011. One of the accused, Armen Dallakyan, died in prison on Sept. 7 this year; consequently, his case was quashed by the court.

In one of the previous court sessions, defendant David Galstyan talked about the torture he experienced while in custody.

"I wrote an appeal, that they kept me for 10 days in [the pretrial detention facility], which is already a violation of human rights; they said, they don’t have petrol to move me [to another facility], but the real reason was they had beat us so much that we couldn’t stand on our feet. They took us to the KGB [i.e. National Security Service of Armenia], but they didn’t accept us; they said, these guys are [living corpses]; take them away; keep them for a few days; if they don't die, bring them back," said Galstyan, in particular. The defendant also claims that there have been irregularities in the investigation. 

The other prisoners also insist that there have been incidents of torture and violations of the law in this case. 

eTV is a joint project of the Helsinki Association for Human Rights and the Independent Journalists' Network.