Life-sentenced Aram Arakelyan has been in correctional facilities since he was 20 years old, since 1993. He will turn 50 in December.

He was held in Nubarashen, Goris, Kosh, penitentiaries and now is in Armavir.

Aram Arakelyan lost his health in prisons. He is so ill that he has not even been able to appear in parol court hearings.

He has already missed two sessions. The third is scheduled for June 15, but he does not hope to be able to attend at least that session.

On the night of February 20, Aram Arakelyan was paralyzed. Doctors have diagnosed acute ischemic stroke. Aram Arakelyan underwent brain surgery at Astghik Medical Center, which was successful, but the consequences of the stroke did not go away. A part of his face is frozen, he has difficulty speaking.

According to the decision N 825-N of the Government of the Republic of Armenia adopted in 2006 and amended in 2019, “hemorrhagic, ischemic or mixed acute disorders of cerebral circulation” are included in the list of diseases incompatible with detention, but they do not want to release Arakelyan.

Now he and his lawyers are in a never-ending cycle of document presentations. They keep sending applications and receive answers with long delays from the relevant bodies, which do not speed up the process, but prolong it. The issue of releasing the convict who has spent almost 30 years in prison is unnecessarily delayed in some intermediate circles, and still does not get a legal solution.

Aram Arakelyan’s mother, Rosa Arakelyan, tells at the request of “The doctor who operated on my son, looking at his epicrisis, told us that Aram’s illness was incompatible with detention. We applied to the Penitentiary Medical Center. The lawyers had applied, and both of them had received an answer that a medical commission should meet in the coming sessions and make a decision. But so far, no decision has been made.”

On March 14, Kamo Manukyan, director of the Penitentiary Medical Center, told Aram Arakelyan’s lawyer, Robert Revazyan, that the interdepartmental medical commission would consider at a forthcoming meeting whether Aram Arakelyan’s illness was compatible with the sentence or the list of serious illnesses prevent him from serving his sentence.

Two months have passed, but the session has not taken place yet. It turns out that in order for the convict’s case to be examined in that “high” commission, he has to undergo a medical examination, which is not so easy to organize.

Aram’s mother says that she wanted her son to pass a private medical examination with her personal funds, but the penitentiary service did not allow it.

On May 3, a reply was received from the Penitentiary Medical Center saying that Aram Arakelyan, a lifer, had been allowed to be transferred to Astghik Medical Center for “research consultations, which will be carried out in accordance with the established procedure.” But even now the chief doctor of Armavir penitentiary institution Gjoyan is obstructing the examination.

“He has lied to my son, has said that the security service should appoint a “watcher” to take Aram to Astghik medical center, but he did not appoint any, and half an hour later my son learned from an officer that there was no problem with them, and they will transfer him to the hospital as soon as the head doctor writes down that this convict should be transferred to this hospital.”

Thus, lifers go around like the characters in Kafka’s “The Castle” and do not reach the most important official who will finally solve their problem and will not waste their time, which is already short.

Syuzan Simonyan

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