Workers of the Office of Armenia’s Human Rights Defender (Ombudsman) reported no complaints from seven members of an armed group who were wounded before being arrested by security forces during last month’s two-week-long standoff over a seized police station in Yerevan.
A lawyer and a doctor representing the Ombudsman’s Office’s Department for the Prevention of Torture and Mistreatment, visited the arrested gunmen at a hospital for prison inmates on August 23 following concerns voiced by supporters of the pro-opposition group, Sasna Tsrer, relatives of the group members and some human rights activists about allegedly improper medical care provided to the wounded.
In a statement the Ombudsman’s Office said that its representatives met and interviewed Pavel and Aram Manukians, Sedrak Nazarian, Tatul Tamrazian, Armen Lambarian, Ashot Petrosian and Hovhannes Harutiunian and heard no complaints from them regarding the conditions of their keeping or the quality of medical care they received.
One of the main complaints of the protesters, who staged pickets in front of the Ombudsman’s Office, the Justice Ministry building and the Hospital for Convicts on Tuesday, was that 24-hour supervision over the wounded Sasna Tsrer members had been removed after they were transferred to the hospital for prison inmates from civilian medical centers.
The Justice Ministry and the administration of the Hospital for Convicts denied the gunmen were not provided with proper medical care.
In its statement on the results of the visit, the Ombudsman’s Office representatives said that during the day, medical care at the Hospital for Convicts is provided to the arrested Sasna Tsrer members by a medical attendant, while during evening and night hours by a medical attendant on duty.
“Personnel from the Erebuni medical center visited [five of the arrested gunmen] on August 16, 19 and 22 and administered all necessary treatment, including the wound care dressing. Such a periodicity of the dressing is conditioned by the healing of the wounds and medical prescriptions,” the statement said.
It added that proper cleaning in the hospital is provided by a staff hospital attendant during the day, while in the evening and at night it is provided by a convict involved in sanitary work.
Almost all of the Sasna Tsrer members kept in the Hospital for Convicts were wounded in the legs. One of them was wounded in the chest. Doctors say their wounds are not life-threatening.