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Armenian Prisoner Ends 26-Day Hunger Strike

Hayk Kyureghyan, who was sentenced to nine years in jail for firing an air pistol in the direction of police in summer, 2014, ended on Monday his 26-day hunger strike demanding a transfer to a non-smoking cell. A spokesperson for the Justice Ministry's Penitentiary Department told Hetq.am that Kyureghyan is currently kept under observation by doctors. As for the prisoner’s demand, officials said, Kyureghyan “will be provided necessary conditions.”

A1plus.am reported earlier today that Kyureghyan had no intention of ending the hunger strike. Ruben Sargsyan, head of a public group that monitors Armenia’s prisons, told the outlet that the prisoner was “extremely emaciated” after visiting him in jail. “He was in a cell designated for hunger-strikers; there was no one else there. We talked about the situation, explained to him the rights of prisoners. He said he had filed an appeal with the prison head; however, I cannot give out its content.”

Recall, Kyureghyan’s father had issued a public statement on December 11, alerting that life in prison had caused his son serious health problems.

“Being a non-smoker and being in a closed and congested area, where the number of prisoners is three times higher than normal (17 persons), where people sleep in turns and where there's no proper ventilation, Hayk has developed a [cigarette] smoke allergy and a chronic cough. After the family's appeal, he received an incomplete treatment which was discontinued on the grounds of lack of appropriate specialist. Hayk is now in an extremely emaciated state; his health and his life are in danger, but his spirit is unbending,” the father had written.