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Seriously Ill Armenian Convict Deprived of Wheelchair and Medication

Hrachya Gevorgyan, a seriously ill prisoner who has recently been transferred to the Armavir prison from Yerevan’s Nubarashen jail, has been on a hunger strike since January 20, Arman Veziryan, a human rights advocate with the Yerevan-based Helsinki Association, told Epress.am on Tuesday.

The main cause of the prisoner’s protest action, according to Veziryan, is the fact that the Nubarashen administration has taken away the wheelchair that Gevorgyan used to move around, while Armavir officials have so far failed to replace it. “He has also been deprived of all his medications,” the advocate added.

After launching the hunger strike, the prisoner has been transferred to a cold solitary confinement cell, which, Veziryan said, could result in further deterioration of Gevorgyan’s musculoskeletal disorders.

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 strikes 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.