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Armenian Prisoner with Parkinson’s on Hunger Strike for 11 Days, Might Be Released on Health Grounds

Hrachya Gevorgyan, a prisoner in Yerevan’s Nubarashen penitentiary, is now in the 11th day of his hunger strike, and his health is continuously deteriorating. Speaking to Epress.am Friday, Helsinki Association for Human Rights representative Nina Karapetyan said that the organization has applied to the Ministry of Justice with a request for Gevorgyan’s early release on health grounds

Note, the prisoner, 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.

“A prisoner with Parkinson’s disease – which is one of Gevorgyan’s deseases – is eligible for an early release, and we’re now awaiting a reply for the Justice Ministry to decide on our future course of action,” Karapetyan said.

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.