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Arrested Erebuni Gunmen Kept in Intolerable Conditions, Lawyers Say

Hovhannes Harutyunyan, a member of the "Daredevils of Sasun" armed group arrested after the July 26 shootout with police, is being kept in “intolerable conditions” at the Convicts’ Hospital penitentiary, his lawyer, Hayarpi Sargsyan, told Hetq.am after a Thursday visit with her client.

Harutyunyan, according to the lawyer, is not receiving adequate pain relief for his leg injuries because doctors want to prevent a potential overdose of morphine. However, Sargsyan said she was particularly concerned about the sanitary and hygiene conditions in the hospital room: it was full of mosquitoes and cockroaches, there was garbage thrown in the corners.

Hovhannes also told his lawyer that he had been unable to sleep the night before since “cockroaches walked over his open wound.”

Note, Harutyunyan has been charged with “occupation of buildings, facilities, means of transportation or communication” and “illegal procurement, transportation or carrying of weapons, ammunition, explosives or explosive devices.” A Yerevan court has already ordered a two-month pretrial detention for him which Sargsyan intends to appeal against since she believes keeping a person with injuries in both legs in pre-trial confinement to be groundless.

Aram Manukyan, another “Daredevils of Sasun” member who will spend two months in confinement before standing trial on the same charges as Harutyunyan, has also been transferred to the Convict’s Hospital where he, too, is being kept in less than adequate conditions. 

Speaking to RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am), Manukyan’s lawyer, Inessa Petrosyan, claimed that that young man, who was taken to the penitentiary less than 24 hours after undergoing surgery on his legs, was being held is a humid and moldy room and was not even provided with proper post-operative nutritional care.

“He’s been given some stale bread and huge chunks of cheese and butter which he can’t even eat [due to lack of utensils],” Petrosyan said. The lawyer added that she intended to file a court motion for transferring Manukyan to a civilian hospital.