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Inmate Beaten and Threatened by Yerevan Prison Officers

Hrachya Gevorgyan, an inmate at Yerevan’s Nubarashen prison, was subjected to a violent beating on December 2 by several prison officers, Helsinki Association for Human Rights head Nina Karapetyants told Epress.am, after visiting the inmate on Monday evening. One of the officers, Gevorgyan allegedly told Karapetyants, had even tried to smother him.

“According to Hrachya, the offenders told him that they could not go home because of his complaints and were forced to write explanations at [relevant departments]. They also warned him that they’d continue beating him unless he stopped complaining. We have appealed to the [Armenian prisons’ public monitoring group], but they have yet to visit him. I was out of the country for a week, and when I visited him today, most of the bruises had faded, but some scratches still remained [on his body],” Karapetyants said.

The lawyer added that authorities have done nothing to punish those responsible for the previous instances of violence against Gevorgyan, and she was therefore not very hopeful about this case either; “Previously, when Hrachya was punched in the face, no one was punished for it. This impunity has lead to new and much more intense violence against him. The penitentiary has launched an internal investigation, but I don’t believe that they’ll hold anyone responsible. No one has ever been punished for the violence against Hrachya.”