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Yerevan Prisoner on Hunger Strike Again in Protest of Inappropriate Treatment

Hrachya Gevorgyan, a seriously ill prisoner in Yerevan's Nubarashen jail, began a fresh hunger strike on Wednesday morning to protest against the prison administration's continuous failure to provide him with the promised medical care, Armenia's Helsinki Association observer Arman Veziryan told Epress.am.

In addition, the human rights activist said, officials have stopped to help the disabled prisoner to take care of his personal needs. “I spoke to Gevorgyan at around 2pm yesterday, and he said no one had come to his aid yet while he is usually taken to take care of his needs by 10 in the morning. Moreover, when I spoke to him again in the evening, he said that not only had he not been taken care of but had also been denied food that day,” Veziryan claimed. He alleged that this sudden change in officials' attitude might be linked to public observers' press conference yesterday where Gevorgyan's issue was also raised. 

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. In late April, the convict went on a month-long hunger strike to demand that authorities provide him with proper medical care and was taken for medical examinations as a result. However, prison officials have yet to ensure that the prisoner undergoes any sort treatment which, according to a statement issued by the group of public observers conducting monitoring of Armenia’s correctional institutions, can be classified as a method of torture.