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Opposition Gunman Held in Dilapidated Cell, Lawyer Says

As of the end of last week, Sasna Tsrer armed group member Hovhannes Harutyunyan was being held in a ground-floor cell in Yerevan’s Nubarashen prison, despite justice minister Arpine Hovhannisyan’s claims that these cells are no longer suitable for human habitation, Harutyunyan’s lawyer, Hayarpi Sargsyan, told Epress.am on Monday.

Armlur.am yesterday published an interview with justice minister Hovhannisyan regarding the January acts of self-harm by Nubarashen inmates in protest of the prison management’s decision to transfer them to fifth-floor cells from the ground floor. In the interview, the minister insisted that “no one is supposed to be held in the ground-floor cells any more.”

In contradictions with the statements made by Hovhannisyan and the Nubarashen administration, however, Hovhannes Harutyunyan is still being kept in a dilapidated ground-floor cell, the lawyer said. Sargsyan also commented on her client’s health state, saying that in addition to the leg pains, Harutyunyan has now started complaining of back pain․

“On January 17, Harutyunyan received a severe blow to his back and sustained a rib injury. He does not want to specify whether he was hit by his inmates or prison officers. Anyhow, he has yet to receive any medical help. Prison officials insist that my client has not been subjected to any violence, but I have personally seen the bruises on his body,” the lawyer said.