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30.10.2017 | human rights in closed institutions

There is no criminal case; there is an untidily made-up fake case: Nerses Poghosyan`s case

There is no criminal case; there is an untidily made-up fake case: Nerses Poghosyan`s case
Nerses Poghosyan, who has just stopped his 25-day long hunger strike, has been charged with case of Zhirayr Sefilian (the head of the Founding Parliament party) and others. He has now serious health condition. His lawyer Arayik Papikyan told the forrights. am correspondent that 25 days of the hunger strike had severe consequences on 36-year-old Poghosyan`s health.  

"He has acute pain in the area of his stomach, intestines, kidneys, liver, pain in his heart, swelling of feet, dizziness and headaches," says the lawyer. Moreover, according to him, during the hunger strike Nerses Poghosyan refused to receive medical care. After a hunger strike, he was kept in a medical facility of penitentiary for only two days, and on the second day he was prescribed numerous treatments and was transferred to a general cell. Poghosyan complained of this move of the penitentiary administration and, for that reason, refused to accept the prescribed medication and, leaving them in the cell of the medical department, moved to the general cell where in fact the arrangement of his further treatment was ruled out.

"Moreover, in his condition, he should maintain a special diet for a long time, but in the general cell it is not possible; more precisely, either his cellmates should stop eating, or he should `not notice` them eating. This is an inhuman conduct and an obvious exhibition of a person`s humiliation," concluded the lawyer. 

Gor Ghlechyan, the head of the press service of the penitentiary institutions of the Ministry of Justice, says that Nerses Poghosyan`s health is satisfactory, he is in the punishment cell of Nubarashen penitentiary. He also said that no particular approach was applied to him. "He is in the punishment cell."

Why did Nerses Poghosyan go to hunger strike? 

Attorney Arayik Papikyan says Nerses` hunger strike was a sign of protest against a number of illegalities during the trial of Sefilian and others. Going to hunger strike, he presented three demands: to allow video and audio taping of the trial, to dismiss prosecutor Petros Petrosyan, who speaks with "ara" ["yo!"] and to change his precautionary measure, among other things taking into account also the personal guarantees of the 8 deputies of the National Assembly [Parliament]. However, the General Jurisdiction court of Davtashen and Ajapnyak Administrative Districts, with judge Tatevik Grigoryan presiding, rejected all three petitions.

Nerses is in jail already for a year and a half and this was his third hunger strike.

There is no criminal case; there is an untidily made-up fake case 

 Nerses Poghosyan is charged under Part 3 of the Article 235 of the RA Criminal Code: formation of an organized group for transporting, carrying and storing illegal weapons and ammunition. 

Attorney Papikyan says that N. Poghosyan did not admit the accusation from the very first day. The charges were based on testimonies of two persons. "Nerses does not accept the charge and notes that he is being persecuted only because he has been involved in various [political] actions, rallies for years, has been quite active, and his civilian activity has not been unnoticed by the authorities," states the lawyer. 

Poghosyan`s trial with judge Tatevik Grigoryan presiding, which is currently in the stage of examination of the evidences, is going through interesting developments. One of the witnesses who testified against him during the pre-trial investigation, in his testimony during the trial rejected his previous testimony and stated that he was forced to sign the testimony and was not familiar with its content.

"It`s clear not only for me, but also for everyone that there is no criminal case, there is an untidyly made-up fake case. During each of the more than two dozen court sessions, we have always withnessed ridiculous situations. The witness is unaware of why he/she is a witness, the arguments are drawn according Nostradamus`s predictions, a person cannot explain the content of his testimony, the testimony of a person registered in the psychiatric hospital and receiving psychotropic drugs is considered accusatory evidence... The list can go on and on... If said more figuratively, the criminal law was offended at the first session and left the court," says Arayik Papikyan.

"The Nerses` detention had both political and psychological motives" 

 Papikyan tells us that during the preliminary investigation, Nerses Poghosyan has repeatedly stated to the investigators and to the head of the investigative group that there is no need to fabricate accusations and he should not be held for adjudicating Sefilian; it will not work.  

"He told them it would be better to accuse him for his [politically] active and critical behavior. He also said he had criticized and would continue to criticize the regime that has taken away the power from the people," says Papikyan.

He insists: the arrest of Nerses originally had and now has both political and psychological motives. 

"If Nerses co-operated with the body conducting the proceedings, and would give testimonies anticipated by them, especially against Sefilian, he would probably not be detained. When detaining him, they assumed Nerses psychologically will not endure long and will be broken because he has three little children, a wife, a mother under his care. But the calculations of the preliminary investigative body shattered the very first day of Nerses` arrest. Keeping him in custody is a personal persecution, and since the case is fully political, no one in Armenia can hope for a legal solution," says the lawyer. 

The accused within this case are seven people. Zhirayr Sefilian, Gevorg Safaryan, Sasunik Kirakosyan, Hrair Topchyan, Nerses Poghosyan, Hovhannes Petrosyan and Galust Grigoryan. 

 Hasmik Hambardzumyan
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