“My sick child was already stinking.” The soldier with mental illness did not bathe for 40 days: Ombudsman records bad conditions

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Yesterday, lawyer Hayarpi Sargsyan posted a photo with a protective mask on her Facebook page and left a bizarre note: “After being here, in the Sovetashen psychiatric hospital, around 2 hours, there is a need to go to the hospital for examination, as well as to get first aid. I am sick, and have headache.”

The lawyer went to a psychiatric hospital to see her client, the Yezidi soldier Yurik Broyan. “I was let in with difficulty. About 20 patients are kept in the same ward. When I entered, they were changing linens hurryingly, but my client was there already for the third day. One does not know in whose dirty bed he was placed before my visit. He was stinking startlingly. They said they did not bathe him because he did not want to, which is difficult to believe. I asked them to let his mother go there and bathe the boy. Before that, Yuri was kept in the military police for about 40 days. They did not bathe and did not feed him there. It is torture towards my client,” said Hayarpi Sargsyan. She is going to submit a report on crime.

Yurik Broyan communicates with his lawyer with gestures. He does not speak, walks with difficulty, and his entire body shakes. Hayarpi Sargsyan claims that the boy’s shaking has increased after he got injected something in Kanaz’s psychiatric hospital.

The fatal journey of the Yezidi young man began with psychiatric facilities in August of last year when he was drafted into the army for service with restrictions. Broyan’s mother claims that her son has hereditary mental illness, does not talk and it’s difficult for him to communicate, and because of mental illness he has not even attended school. The Ministry of Defense thinks that he is a falsifier, a simulant, and does not want to serve in the RA Armed Forces. “It is important to emphasize that such persons have no place in the RA Armed Forces as they defame the dignity of the serviceman,” the official statement of the Ministry of Defense about the Yezidi military serviceman states.

It is the second day his mother, Marine Broyan, goes to the psychiatric hospital. “For 7 months, my boy was in very bad condition. Nobody understands me. He was hungry at the military police station, and I was going and feeding him somehow with my own hands. My child was treated very badly. They did not bathe him. They lied to me telling that he was bathing three times a week. Until now, he is wearing the same greasy uniform he was wearing in August, he was in the same military boots, which he has not taken off. My child was stinking. In the psychiatric hospital I wanted to bathe him today, but they did not have a towel. Tomorrow I’ll take a towel and bathe him. I’ve taken the military uniform out of him today, and I’ve taken slippers to him so that his feet can rest a little,” the mother tells and cries constantly.

Answering journalists’ questions about Yurik Broyan on the occasion of the Army Day, Minister Davit Tonoyan said: “We have a principled approach toward the mentioned serviceman. I hope we are wrong.” By saying ‘principled approach’, the minister apparently means his belief that Yurik Broyan escapes the military service. So, Davit Tonoyan, expressing his stance on the Yezidi serviceman, is involuntarily leading the investigative body, bypassing the investigators and psychiatrists, who should participate in the complex investigation of the serviceman.

The Minister’s “principled” approach can be accepted as an instruction. What is that approach based on, if Davit Tonoyan has never answered Yurik Broyan’s mother’s letters? He did not speak to her. He did not visit the young man even once. For comparison, former Minister of Defense Seyran Ohanyan would definitely meet with the sick soldiers. There have been cases when they were strictly taken to the office of Ohanyan.

Ombudsman Arman Tatoyan has formally interfered with Yurik Broyan’s case. His office informs Forrights.am: “On January 29, lawyer Hayarpi Sargsyan alerted the hotline of the Human Rights Defender’s office to the fact that she had no information about Yurik Broyan’s whereabouts. On the same day, the Ombudsman’s staff found out that, Based on the court decision carried out on the basis of the motion by the military police of the MoD, Yurik Broyan was transferred to the National Center for Mental Health on the same day. The information was immediately transmitted to Hayarpi Sargsyan.

Yesterday, on January 31, Hayarpi Sargsyan called the hotline of the Human Rights Defender’s office inquiring about Yurik Broyan.

A quick response visit has taken place; the basics of keeping the person in the psychiatric hospital and the conditions of care were examined. It has been established that Yurik Broyan is kept in the Center on the legal basis of a court decision. The representatives of the Human Rights Defender recorded on the spot the bad conditions of detention.

Such conditions have also been documented in the Human Rights Defender’s Special Report on Psychiatric Hospitals. Thus, the Ombudsman also insists that the soldier is kept in bad conditions. However, his “insistence”, as a rule, does not change anything, although he could have made at least a separate statement. “The case of Yurik Broyan in the staff of the Human Rights Defender is under consideration,” the Ombudsman’s Office reports.

Syuzan Simonyan

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