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Armenian Convict Denied Medical Care, Goes on Hunger Strike

Hrachya Gevorgyan, a convict in Nubarashen penitentiary institution in Yerevan, went on a hunger strike protesting against the decision to deny him medical care, Helsinki Association for Human Rights observer Arman Veziryan told Epress.am on Friday, July 10.

“Prison administration said if Gevorgyan wished he could invite an outside physician on his own account. However, [Gevorgyan] is insolvent, and his only relative is his 72-year-old mother, whose only source of income is pension,” Veziryan said, adding that the convict was brought to the meeting with him in a wheelchair.

“Gevorgyan was unable to walk; he was emaciated and had difficulties talking. He complained that [prison administration] ignores his [health problems] and calls him a ‘malingerer.’ They claim that Gevorgyan only has bronchitis and deny him treatment,” Veziryan told Epress.am. 

Recall, Hrachya Gevorgyan was convicted of holding hostage his wife, Naira Harutyunyan, and her son, a minor, asking for ransom from Naira's father. Gevorgyan, however, has denied the charges of hostage-taking. During the last 2 years he stated multiple times that the former Chief of the Police Criminal Investigation Unit Artur Gevorgyan for three months attempted to convince him not to protest against the indictment. Then, as stated by Gevorgyan, the former police chief decided to make threats to ensure the accused ceases his fight against the illegality of the criminal case against him.

According to the convict, during one of their meeting the former police chief said that he would not let the defendant get out of jail and would keep him there until Gevorgyan dies.