They want a huge sum of money from a prisoner of war for a heart stenting

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Gegham Kostanyan, a detainee in the Armavir penitentiary, is awaiting sentencing. He is in poor health and is currently in the Convicts’ Hospital.

Kostanyan’s daughter Ani Aramyan informed Forrights.am about this.

She said that her father constantly had high blood pressure, heart pain and dilation of blood vessels. According to the instructions of the medical staff of the Convicts’ Hospital, Gegham Kostanyan should have heart surgery in a civilian hospital. Ani Aramyan reports that 900,000 drams [about $1,800] were demanded from the detainee at the hospital in order for him to have surgery.

“My father was told to pay 900,000 drams. The chief doctor of the Convicts’ Hospital, Vahan Voskanyan has said. But dad’s condition is very bad. There are papers proving that his blood] pressure rises daily, reaching 180-200. If they do not operate, he will die,” Aramyan claims.

We inquired with the Ministry of Justice about the Convicts’ Hospital’s demand. How can they ask a detainee for money for an operation?

Lusine Martirosyan, head of the Ministry’s Public Relations Department, said that it was not the chief doctor of the Convicts’ Hospital who demanded money for the surgery, but the civilian hospital where Kostanyan was to undergo stenting.

“He needs surgery. The Penitentiary Medical Center has applied to a civilian hospital. The operation, if I am not mistaken, costs 3 to 5 million drams, which the state subsidies. The state covers the cost [of the operation], but the cost of the stent itself must be paid by the patient. It does not matter if he is convicted or not. He was informed in writing from the hospital that this was what was offered to him. He was even received by the director of the hospital. The price of the stent must be paid,” Lusine Martirosyan said. She informed that 900 thousand drams were demanded from Gegham Kostanyan in Erebuni Medical Center.

“The hospital does not matter; the procedure is the same in any hospital,” said Lusine Martirosyan.

Gegham Kostanyan is a freedom fighter. During the 44-day war, he volunteered, went to the front, defended the settlements of Davit Bek, Nerkin Khndzoresk, Syunik region, which were significantly damaged during hostilities.

In those days

, the investigator released Gegham Kostanyan from custody. They took a signature from him about not leaving the country, then turned a blind eye to the fact that Kostanyan had left to fight.

Gegham and his friends were even promised money to take part in the war. However, upon his return, the prosecutor’s office appealed the decision to release him from custody, and Kostanyan was re-arrested. They took him to Armavir penitentiary. Kostanyan could not get the money he should have received for taking part in the war. “They said that my father was a prisoner, he could not get that money from the bank, now he has to give me a power of attorney so that I can go and get it,” says Kostanyan’s daughter.

Thus, it turns out that the state treated Gegham Kostanyan meanly, deceiving him twice. He granted him freedom when he was needed as a fighter, and, after the war, he was imprisoned again, and did not receive any money.

Now, when Gegham needs the state, he is told to pay for the stents.

Gegham Kostanyan was charged with hitting a police officer. According to the materials of the criminal case, on August 8, 2020, he slept drunk at the door of his ex-wife, who called the police, who tried to remove him from the entrance. According to the indictment, Gegham Kostanyan used violence against the policeman that was dangerous for the latter’s health and was taken to “Ararat Hospital” medical center, from where he tried to escape.

Syuzan Simonyan