Detention or torture? NSS implements unacceptable methods against the blind accused

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The NSS Investigative Department is using cruel, unacceptable from the human-rights point of view methods in its work. On March 12, the NSS members rushed into the house of Constantine Hovhannisyan, a seriously ill, insulin-dependent diabetic, almost blind and wheelchair-attached person, and arrested him.

This was reported by Shakhe Ghazaryan, Hovhannisyan’s wife, to Forrights.am. “He was in his bed in the house, and suddenly the NSS came and told us they were taking Constantine for interrogation,” the woman tells.

The NSS employees did not submit any documents, any decision on arrest, did not give any opportunity to involve an attorney.

“We got panicked: the drugs were not with him, he had to take them at precise times, otherwise his kidneys would be at great danger,” says family friend Inessa Petrosyan.

Later, after involving a lawyer, Konstantin’s relatives learned that he was accused of falsifying documents and fraud (section 178 and 325 of the Criminal Code). There was a testimony against him that he has ordered notarial seals. During the house search, weapons were found in his apartment, but they did not submit them for identification.

Constantine Hovhannisyan was taken to the National Security Service with a bandage, barefoot, with a cane. He has undergone kidney transplant surgery in June, at the time of the arrest he was under constant supervision of doctors.

He suffers from diseases incompatible with detention: diabetic retinopathy, diabetic angiopathy, diabetic nephropathy. He has second-class disability status. His left eye does not see as a result of dialysis, and the right eyesight is only 10 percent. Constantly accepts immunedepressive medications as every minute there is a risk of kidney failure.

He accepts from 120 to 270 units of insulin daily, while any daily dosage from 60 units and more is a sufficient basis for the detention to not be used as a precautionary measure, since detention for those taking over 60 units is impermissible under law. His foot is stricken; he had a small wound in between two toes, which became a tremendous wound from March 12 to this day in imprisonment. Hovhannisyan’s relatives presented all the documents to the investigator.

“We have warned him that he uses immunodepressants on hourly basis, otherwise transplanted kidney failure may occur. Nothing helped,” says Shake Ghazaryan.

Judge Davit Harutyunyan satisfied the investigators’ motion without paying attention to all these facts and made an illegal, inhumane decision to apply detention.

Hovhannisyan’s condition was so severe that, getting acquainted to his medical records, not the “Armavir” penitentiary, nor the “Hospital for Convicts” admitted him. Erebuni medical center too refused admitting him. At last, the NSS officers managed to admit him to the Republican Medical Center, where he is currently.

However, he does not get proper treatment in the hospital. The surgeon simply offered to amputate his toes.

“He’s getting worse day by day. They offered to cut his toes since the first seconds he was admitted to the hospital. Doctors have never offered us such a thing before. We keep the photos of his foot showing what the wound looked like before the arrest and what it looks now,” complains Konstantin Hovhannisyan’s wife Shake Ghazaryan. She considers the detention of her husband a type of torture, “culmination of human rights abuses.”

Konstantin Hovhannisyan’s lawyer, Susanna Sargsyan, mentioned in the interview with Forrights.am that numerous investigative violations were committed by the investigative body against his client.

“They did not inform why he was being detained. He was detained and, only afterwards, a detention authorization was drafted in the investigator’s office. He was not informed about the detention, and, as he was bedridden, naturally, he did not witness what they were seizing. The weapon was not presented him for identification.”

The lawyer filed an appeal against Judge Davit Harutyunyan’s decision and also applied to the court of first instance with a motion for replacement of the detention with a written obligation not to leave the country.

“The man has no opportunity to avoid the investigation. Where should a person go when he cannot survive without a doctor and medications?”

P.S. We were unable to contact the NSS Press Center. Evidently, they do not answer phone calls from this center on weekends.

Syuzan Simonyan

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