The author of the noisy incident that took place in the Republic Square on February 10, the driver of the “Hummer” that attacked the square, 25-year-old Gegham Sahradyan, a resident of Ararat city, has been in detention for half a year. His family does not have any information about the course of the preliminary investigation. The public defender, as Gegham’s father says, “state attorney” Tigran Grigoryan, insists that he does not have an authorization to provide information from the defendant.

Thus, the case of great public interest is going on in conditions of complete secrecy, which is inadmissable, because Gegham Sahradyan is not an ordinary detainee. He went through two wars and, fighting in Varanda (Jabrayil) during the 44-day war, he rescued 5 soldiers from the siege and actually saved their lives.

He has mental health problems, but is kept in the Nubarashen penitentiary institution, in a common cell.

His father, Artur Sahradyan, says that his son has been using drugs for a long time, has mental health problems, delusional thoughts, was treated at the Nubarashen mental health center, and ran away from hospitals several times. He is registered in the drug dispensary.

“He needs to be treated, sent to forced treatment, at least kept in the hospital, man. The patient is taken away, thrown with the regular detainees, kept in the cell with 7 “users”. I am unable to do anything. My only hope is God. I am not going to give money [means bribe] to the investigators. At first, they took him to the hospital, for check-ups, then to the Armavir prison, then, when they saw in Armavir that he was sick, they called us and I said ‘come and take him; he is sick’. Then he was taken to the Hospital of Convicts and now is in Sovetashen prison (Nubarashen penitentiary). In order to sentence him as a sane person, the investigator wants to convince me that my son is healthy, can you imagine? But he has been in psychiatric hospitals for a long time,” Artur Sahradyan tells

The famous “Hummer” with which he approached the government building belonged to him.

To remind, 25-years-old Gegham Sahradyan is accused of committing hooliganism, destroying a large amount of property, selling a large amount of narcotics, interfering with the official activities of an official (Articles 264, 297, 396, 452 of the RA Criminal Code).

As it is known, on February 10, he approached the government building with his father’s “Hammer” car, demanded 1000 drams [about $2.5] from the police for gas, and they tried to stop him, but failed.

Gegham drove the car left and right, damaged the cars parked around the area, ran away, and was caught in the area of the Gold Market. The police took out drugs from his pocket. Gegham’s father does not deny that his son used drugs, but he was never a dealer.

Now the “Hummer”, like Gegham, is under “arrest”. The investigators do not return the car to Artur. Their excuse is that there is a bullet in it, they have to take it out, but there is no specialist to take it out. “There is no specialist for 6 months. I say, well, I will take it out. I want to donate that “Hummer” to the church. I promised it to God; let them give back my car,” complains Artur Sahradyan.

The father is convinced that his son will be imprisoned for at least 10 years. “They put four heavy articles on him. They examine him every two months. But what did my sick child do? In the end, no one was hurt but himself.”

He reminds that his son is a participant in two wars, he fought in Jabrayil during the 44-Day War, and not only he managed to escape from the ring of death, but also saved 5 soldiers.

“Now they are judging him, with his sick condition. I told the investigator that he misbehaved at home as well, broke the door. The investigator used this against my son and wrote, allegedly, that I am complaining that my son poses a risk and they will make my son’s punishment more severe. I told him that the child is sick and has problems, and he decided that I am complaining about my son,” Artur Sahradyan says, adding:

“The officers who left the child in the Turks’ mouth are not being tried, but my child, who was a soldier and, let’s say, ran over an officer, is being tried. Maybe this was the soldier who came to spit on them. He was a very careful person, {when driving] he was signaling with car horn, driving slowly so as not to hurt someone accidentally. The police were firing shots at my son, both from front and from the sides.

Public defender Tigran Grigoryan does not want to answer our questions about this case. He explains that his client did not give him an instruction to provide information to the media.

He responds to the question about the state of health of his client. “[He is] In normal condition. At this particular moment, there is an expert’s opinion, and what his father says contradicts the expert’s opinion.”

According to him, his client does not need a psychiatrist. The public defender even avoids talking about the charges and whether they have been changed or not.

His behavior gave the impression that the public defender is constrained and does not want to help his client, to at least provide information that does not harm the interests of the preliminary investigation, as requested in cases with public attention.

Gegham Sahradyan’s father is not satisfied with the level of his son’s protection. A complaint is being filed against both the investigator and the public defender.

We tried to find out from Naira Babayan, deputy director of the Penitentiary Medicine Center, why the detainee with mental health problems is kept in a general cell; is it true that there are 7 drug addicts kept in the same cell with him, and is there no need to keep him in a specialized ward? Babayan, however, refused to answer, saying that she cannot provide any information about Gegham Sahradyan’s health condition, as it is prohibited by law.

Syuzan Simonyan

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