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Supporter of Yerevan Gunmen Bedbound Since Release from Prison

Artur Sargsyan, the man who on July 26 drove through the police cordon around the seized Yerevan police station to deliver food to 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 bedbound and suffering from numerous ailments since his release from prison on December 31, one of Sargsyan’s relatives who did not wish to disclose his name said in a conversation with Epress.am on Tuesday.

“He has been receiving IV treatments at home; he hardly ever gets up, and someone has to constantly be at home to look after him. His condition is very serious,” the relative said, stressing that Sargsyan’s health has suffered greatly in the period spent in jail; “It’s true that Sargsyan had had health complaints prior to imprisonment, but the condition would not have gotten as bad had he been released earlier. He was at least able to take care of himself, while now he is completely bedbound.”

Sargsyan began experiencing a dramatic health deterioration right after his arrest and was transferred to the Erebuni hospital in Yerevan following multiple episodes of blood vomiting and dizziness. Erebuni doctors diagnosed the man with esophageal erosion and ulcers, and a number of other gastrointestinal problems, and recommended that he undergoes a drug treatment. However, his lawyers, Tigran Yegoryan and Davit Gyurjyan, subsequently complained that Sargsyan was not being provided with the necessary medication and proper treatment in prison, and filed an appeal with the European Court of Human Rights asking for assistance in ensuring that Armenia’s authorities provide the inmate with proper medical care and transfer him to a civilian hospital.

In the appeal, the lawyers stressed that the Bechterew’s disease, which the inmate has previously undergone a spine surgery for, is grounds alone for changing his preventive measure, since it is incompatible with prison conditions. “For this reason, under the No. 825.37 government decree, this disease has been ranked as one not compatible with detention. Meanwhile, the provisional arrest regime implemented in Armenia provides for more stringent restrictions on prisoners than the penalty of confinement envisaged by the law.”