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Yerevan Man Suspected of Assisting Anti-Government Armed Group Arrested Again

Artur Sargsyan, who was detained last July on suspicion of assisting the Sasna Tsrer (Daredevils of Sasun) armed group, has been arrested again for two months on Thursday, February 9, RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) reports.

Sargsyan’s lawyer, Tigran Yegoryan, told Azatutyun that he has yet to find out whether his client, who is suffering from various diseases, has been taken to Yerevan’s Nubarashen prison or to the Convicts’ Hospital. According to Yegoryan, Sargsyan has been arrested for failing to appear in the Special Investigation Service on February 3; meanwhile, he added, they had warned the authorities that Sargsyan would not be able to make the appointment and had asked to reschedule the meeting.

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.”