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Yerevan Prisoner Moved to ‘Livable’ Cell Following Ombudsman’s Intervention

After a visit from a representative of the office of Armenia’s human rights ombudsman, Nubarashen inmate Ararat Khandoyan has been transferred from solitary confinement to a cell with livable conditions, his lawyer, Ara Gharagyozyan, told Epress.am on Monday.

On January 27, the lawyer had published Khandoyan’s letter from prison, according to which, the inmate had been taken to a “cold and damp” solitary confinement cell, despite having serious health problems.

Speaking to Epress.am, Gharagyozyan said he was not aware of the exact reason for Khandoyan’s transfer; “It must have been due to a violation of some internal prison rules; but even if Khandoyan has in fact committed a violation, he should not be held in inhuman conditions.”

The lawyer added that he intends to demand that prison authorities conduct an administrative investigation and offer a legal justification for repeatedly transferring Khandoyan to unlivable cells.

Ararat Khandoyan is the brother of Nagorno-Karabakh war veteran Arayik Khandoyan, one of the three dozen members of the “Sasna Tsrer” anti-government group that seized a Yerevan police station in July to demand Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan’s resignation and the release of Founding Parliament opposition movement Jirayr Sefilyan. He was arrested on July 21 during clashes between police and supporters of Sasna Tsrer and is being accused of taking part in mass disorders and using violence against a police officer.