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Marchers in Yerevan Demand Adequate Medical Care for Sasna Tsrer Member

Several dozen people held a march in downtown Yerevan on Monday in a show of support for Hovhannes Harutyunyan, a member of the Sasna Tsrer (Daredevils of Sasun) armed group who was hospitalized with a gunshot leg injury after a shoot-out with police on July 26, a week into the Yerevan police station siege. Harutyunyan's lawyer has been insisting that her client's condition has deteriorated significantly over the last months but authorities have been failing to provide him with adequate medical care. 

Speaking to reporters during the march, Harutyunyan's sister, Tamara Harutyunyan, said that she no longer trusted that Armenian authorities would do anything to help her brother; “I thought I would go mad when I learned that Hovhannes wanted his leg amputated. His injured leg looks significantly different from the healthy one. His mental state is even worse; he has actually forbidden me from bringing up the issue, but I can't just sit and do nothing. He no longer cares about the leg and is saying that it should be amputated.”

Davit Sanasaryan, an opposition politician with the Heritage party and one of the organizers of the march, told reporters that they had submitted appeal letters to the office of the Armenian human rights Ombudsman, the ministries of health and justice, demanding that they be allowed to visit with Harutyunyan and find out why he has not been receiving proper treatment. The protesters also demanded that authorities release Harutyunyan from detention and allow his transfer to a civilian hospital.

“If these demands are not met within the next 48 hours, we will take the issue to an international platform and demand the resignation of the Ombudsman, the minister of health, the minister of justice, the chief of the justice ministry's penitentiary department, and the head of the convicts' hospital,” Sanasaryan announced.