These are the words of Yuri Sargsyan, who has been sentenced to life since 1994. He says that a lot has changed in his life during these 28 years. Yuri divided those years into phases: before he was in a prison made by his brain; now this is a different prison for him.

“I didn’t kill anyone, I’m not guilty of anything… then you start to get angry thinking even if I’m guilty, it’s not just me; others are guilty too, they also participated; my parents, the judge or the prosecutor or the society, the government… You blame everyone, besides yourself.”

It took a long time for Yuri to overcome the first two stages. Then he realized that it was not a prison, but an opportunity.

“In the third stage, you start to get disappointed, you say: who needs this life, it’s better to die. These thoughts also pass. I even had a suicide attempt, but I overcame it. And then, you’re already starting to wonder if you fell into prison, why did you fall, how did it happen? No one is to blame, I am to blame. Why am I guilty, what have I done? This is how you begin to understand and analyze your life. You begin to understand how you got to this point and what you could have done differently in order not to get into this situation.”

The Bible helps Yuri a lot. He loves the Bible, faith, God, and people.

“When the ground slides from under your feet, you are trying to hold on to the sky: there is no other way out, otherwise what are you going to do, are you going to fall into the abyss? If it wasn’t for God, I wouldn’t even talk to you.”

Yuri has a published a book “Maximum Penalty” (“Death Penalty”). He tried to analyze the life of himself and other convicts in the book. In addition to the book, there are also published articles: he has 120 published articles in the Radio Van.

“Now I want to write a new book. When I wrote the book, it was a different prison. Now I do not blame anyone. If you don’t blame anyone, you see both the people of this world and the sun. You understand that every person who meets you gives something. I didn’t start living in things: I started accepting things. I talk to people, I accept.”

Yuri’s family is in Ukraine. He has three children. He did’nt see them for three years. Yuri’s desire is to have a wide opportunity to express himself, he wants to be as useful as much as possible, and to get out of prison, “I’m talking to you. It is the question of my freedom. Didn’t you come here for freedom? I am communicating with freedom.”

Zhanna Alexanyan

Ani Gevorgyan

Qnarik Vardanyan

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