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Seriously Ill Yerevan Inmate Deprived of Proper Medical Care, Lawyers Claim

Artur Sargsyan, the man who on July 26 drove through the police cordon around the seized Yerevan police station to deliver food the members of the “Daredevils of Sasun” armed group and was subsequently charged with assisting the gunmen in hostage-taking and illegal firearms and ammunition transportation, has been deprived of proper medical care in Yerevan’s Nubarashen prison, according to a statement issued on Monday evening by the inmates lawyers, Tigran Yegoryan and Davit Gyurjyan.

Sargsyan, the lawyers said, who is suffering from numerous diseases and has previously undergone a spine surgery for Bechterew’s disease, has been experiencing a dramatic health deterioration: the inmate is throwing up blood due to esophageal erosion and stomach ulcers, has nausea and dizziness.

On December 10, “when Sargsyan’s condition dramatically worsened,” a Nubarashen doctor told him “everything was fine” and refused the inmate’s request for an ambulance; “Within about 15-20 minutes, Sargsyan’s began to throw up blood much more intensively, and doctors again refused to call an ambulance. Only after 2-3 hours did they finally call one and transfer the inmate to the Erebuni medical center.”

Erebuni doctors diagnosed Sargsyan with esophageal erosion and ulcers, and a number of other gastrointestinal problems. The inmate was recommended to undergo a drug treatment and taken back to prison. The lawyers, however, insist that Sargsyan is not being provided with the necessary medication. “An effective care for the above-mentioned diseases can not be provided at the Nubarashen prison, and the management is not exactly in a rush to ensure that Sargsyan received proper treatment,” the statement noted.

Yegoryan and Gyurjyan have filed appeal letters with the Ministry of Justice, the Nubarashen prison, and the office of the Armenian ombudsman, demanding that necessary measures are taken immediately to transfer the inmate – who has physical activity restrictions – to a civilian hospital and provide him with proper medical care. “The neglect, the lack of care and poor detention conditions could potentially be dangerous to his life or health,” the lawyers’ statement concluded.