A seriously ill Nubarashen inmate has launched a hunger strike as a protest against the prison administration's failure to provide him with proper medical treatment.
Hrachya Gevorgyan, who was sentenced in November, 2015, to 8 years in prison for hostage-taking, violence against a representative of authorities, and extortion, is suffering from chronic hepatitis C, chronic bronchitis, Parkinson's disease, and a pulmonary arterial hypertension; when eating or taking care of personal needs, the prisoner has to rely on the help of other inmates.
Gevorgyan's mother informed the activists of the Helsinki Association for Human Rights about her son's hunger strike Tuesday. On the same day, the activists contacted the office of the Armenian Ombudsman and the group of monitors conducting public oversight in the country's penitentiary institutions; however, the prisoner has yet to be visited by anyone or be provided with medical care.
Asya Sarkisova, the Head of the Violence Prevention Department of the Ombudsman's office, told the Helsinki Association that they are familiar with the case and have visited the prisoner a number of times. According to Gevorgyan's medical history, the official claimed, the prisoner has received the necessary treatment and medications, but “is always complaining for some reason.”
Recall, according to the indictment, Hrachya Gevorgyan and Garik Harutyunyan held hostage Hrachya Gevorgyan's wife, Naira Harutyunyan, and her son, a minor, asking for ransom from Naira's father. After they received the money, they released Naira and her son.
Gevorgyan, however, has denied the accusations during the entirety of the 4-year trial process; the defendant claims that Harutyunyan “organized a conspiracy” against him. He has also repeatedly stated that the former Chief of the Police Criminal Investigation Unit Artur Gevorgyan for three months attempted to convince him not to protest against the charges. 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. However, the RA Special Investigation Service did not find the convict's claims sufficient to open a criminal case against the police official.