Thursday, 12 December

23 Years Behind Bars: Armenian 'Lifer' Goes on Hunger Strike

Vahagn Maroukyan, who has spent the last 23 years in an Armenian prison, has gone on hunger strike according to his brother.

Housik Maroukyan told Hetq that Vahagn, who is registered as a second-degree disabled person, has been refused medications for his debilitating joint pain at the Artik Penitentiary.

Vahagn Maroukyan was imprisoned in 1993, at the age of 19, after being sentenced to death for the premeditated murder of the then military police chief in the town of Vanadzor. In 2003 the sentence was commuted to life by the president of Armenia.

Maroukyan claims he is innocent and that authorities used physical torture to wrest a confession from him.

Vahagn Maroukyan, who can only walk with the use of crutches, says his disability is the result of being kept in a damp cell for so long.

Maroukyan has been constantly denied conditional release. The last time was on September 30. He intends to appeal the decision. 

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