Nagorno-Karabakh war veteran, reserve army colonel Volodya Avetisyan went on an open-ended hunger strike on Friday after an Armenian independent parole board rejected a second appeal by the retired colonel for an early release.
Avetisyan informed his wife Margarita Baghramyan of his decision by phone on October 30. He has since been transferred to a cell designated for hunger strikers.
Note, investigation against Avetisyan started in 2013. In summer 2014, a Yerevan first instance court found him guilty of fraud and attempted fraud and sentenced him to 6.5 years in jail. According to the indictment, Avetisyan received $2,000 from Henrikh Zakaryan to exempt his grandson from compulsory military service and attempted to receive $500 from Albert Matosyan to transfer his son to another military unit. All higher judicial instances subsequently upheld the verdict.
During the entire process, Avetisyan denied the accusations, claiming that prosecution against him started shortly after he initiated public protests demanding better social conditions and treatment for Karabakh war veterans.