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Vanadzor Man Convicted of Attempted Murder Goes on Hunger Strike

Vanadzor resident Karen Kungortsev, who was recently sentenced to 7 years in prison, a year after he was acquitted by the Lori first instance court of the attempted murder of 15-year old Yerevan handball player Davit Hovakimyan, has gone on strike strike to protest against the verdict issued by the Appeal Court in Yerevan, Helsinki Association for Human Rights head Nina Karapetyants told Epress.am on Friday, stressing that she has yet to find out the details of Kungortsev’s protest action.

Recall, the verdict of not guilty was handed down by Lori District Court judge Narine Hovakimyan in April 2016, despite the prosecution having had demanded a 9.5 years’ imprisonment for the defendant. Early this week, however, Armenia’s Court of Appeal – headed by judges Mher Arghamanyan, Manushak Petrosyan and Mkhitar Papoyan – granted the prosecution’s appeal and sentenced Kungortsev to a 7-year imprisonment.

At a post-release press conference in July 2016, Karen Kunghortsev had told reporters about his forceful detainment by police in 2013: “They came to my workplace, handcuffed me with no explanation and took me to the police station, where I was forced to sign papers with unfamiliar content. They would beat me to force a confession, they’d say everything would be fine if I did as they said. I’ve submitted hundreds of torture reports to numerous organizations and agencies, but no one paid any attention to them.”