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Statement on hunger strike of members of “Sasna Tsrer” group, Armen Bilyan and Smbat Barseghyan

It is more than 20 days that Armen Bilyan and Smbat Barseghyan, members of the “Sasna Tsrer” group, have been going on a hunger strike in the “Nubarashen”Penitentiary of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia, with this demanding to provide proper medical care for them andto move them to the “Armavir”Penitentiary.

The demandforproper health care by a person, especially the detainee, shall not only be a subject of discussion, and that for a long time, but is subject to immediate execution. But until now, the question of subordination of the applications by A. Bilyan and S. Barseghyan has stillbeen on discussion. While the issue has being resolved, the health of these personsmay be irreparably harmed.The request for a move to another penitentiary is also the right of a person; moreover, such demand has more than enough grounds and reasons,whichwere filed in court, too.These simple and easy-to-solve problems have not beingsolved for a long time. Relevant bodies and institutions acting on behalf of the State – the Court, the Penitentiary Department, the Penitentiary Institution, which are called to ensure human rights and freedoms and to prevent violations, with their illogical administration and inactivity, once again prove that human rights violations in Armenia are universal in nature, especially those by the state bodies.The “Helsinki Association” human rights NGO expresses its concern over the current state of health of Armen Bilyan and Smbat Barseghyan and the possible unwanted consequences of the hunger strike they are on, condemning the inactivity and formal administration of all the competent authorities, and demanding that they should: 

  • Ø put an end to the formal administration and ensure the protection of the rights of Armen Bilyan and Smbat Barseghyan;
  • Ø urgently take measures to ensure a substantial solution to their applications;
  • Ø bring to responsibilityto the sinners for the situation; and
  • Ø ensure minimum necessary conditions defined by law in penitentiaries, which will put an end to permanent infringement of the rights of prisoners.

 “Helsinki Association” human rights NGO10.01.2018

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