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Yerevan Inmate Again Subjected to Violent Treatment by Prison Staff

Hrachya Gevorgyan, a seriously ill inmate in Yerevan’s Nubarashen prison, was on Friday yet again subjected to violent treatment, his lawyer, Helsinki Association for Human Rights head Nina Karapetyants told Epress.am today.

According to Karapetyants, Grigoryan, who is supposed to be transferred to the Armavir prison, phoned her on Friday morning, asking the lawyer to go and visit him as soon as possible.

“I went to Nubarashen at 11 in the morning but did not get a chance to see Grigoryan until 1 pm. At first, the guards told me he had already been transferred, but then they said he was ‘unable’ to see me. Only after I demanded a visit from the prison management was I able to get to Grigoryan,” Karapetyants said.

The lawyer soon found out that Grigoryan had been dragged out of his bed in the morning by the guards and forcibly taken to another cell, where he was left lying half-naked on the cold floor for several hours; “He was still on the floor when I entered the cell, and the guards picked Grigoryan up and put him in a bed only after I demanded that they do so.”

Hrachya Gevorgyan, who was sentenced in November, 2015, to 8 years in prison for hostage-taking, violence against a representative of authorities, and extortion, is suffering from chronic hepatitis C, chronic bronchitis, Parkinson’s disease, and a pulmonary arterial hypertension; when eating or taking care of personal needs, the prisoner has to rely on the help of other inmates. The convict has previously gone on a number of hunger strike to demand that authorities provide him with proper medical care. However, prison officials have yet to ensure that the prisoner undergoes any sort treatment which, according to a statement issued by the group of public observers conducting monitoring of Armenia’s correctional institutions, can be classified as a method of torture.