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Sasun Mikaelian, a controversially imprisoned opposition figure, will have to stay in a civilian hospital in Yerevan for at least one more week, a senior doctor treating him said on Wednesday.


Mikaelian was taken to the Armenia Medical Center on December 4 and underwent there several operations aimed at clearing his respiratory tract last week. He had previously spent three months in a prison hospital, complaining of increasingly serious respiratory and heart problems.

“His treatment is continuing,” Avetik Minasian, a high-ranking doctor at the medical center, told RFE/RL. “The [surgery] wounds have not yet healed and he will stay in the hospital for another week.”

Minasian said he and other doctors will decide early next week whether Mikaelian, who was stripped of his eat in the Armenian parliament in October, should continue his treatment in a heart clinic or go back to the prison. “That depends on the conclusion of different specialists,” he said, refusing to make any predictions.

The doctor said only that the condition of Mikaelian’s heart, adversely affected by a lack of oxygen supply, remains worrisome.

Like several other prominent allies of opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian, Mikaelian was convicted in June of organizing “mass disturbances” in the wake of the February 2008 presidential election. He was also found guilty of illegal arms possession. The resulting eight-year sentence disqualified him from a general amnesty that led to the release of some 30 opposition members and supporters.

Mikaelian and Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress deny the charges as unfounded and politically motivated.
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