Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

A case of unpunished death

May 8, 2019

Right to Protection of Health | Activities | Legal Support | Legal Support | Rights | Project։ Stability of HCA Vanadzor in the light of democracy and human rights challenges in the Republic of Armenia 2019 | Right to life | Publications | News | Strategic Trials | Serob Gevorgyan | Closed and Semi-Closed Institutions | Civilian Oversight and Monitoring

In April, 2015, convict Serob Gevorgyan died in hospital after making a self-harm in “Nubarashen” penitentiary institution. Surgeon-physician Levon Navoyan and head of the medical unit Artur Harutyunyan, who had not provided convict Serob Gevorgyan with proper medical aid, were made redundant the incident, while heads of penitentiary institutions were given recommendations so as to exclude further violations.


The question was raised by the RA Investigative Committee investigator of Particularly Important Cases A. Karapetyan in the petition dated January 31, 2019, which was addressed to the head of the penitentiary service of the RA Ministry of Justice.


Let us remind that within the framework of the criminal case initiated, as a result of the medical-forensic expertise, it was found out that  it was not possible to reach a precise conclusion pertaining to the medical aid that S. Gevorgyan was provided with, since his outpatient card was not properly filled in, there were a lot of sentences deleted and corrected, the hours of the medical events distorted. All this could play a significant role for the expertise. This indicates that the penitentiary institution’s surgeon-physician Levon Navoyan and head of the medical unit Artur Harutyunyan did not perform their duties conscientiously.  


On March 14, 2019, the representative of the victim’s successor – HCA Vanadzor lawyer Arayik Zalyan applied to the head of the Penitentiary Service to get information on the actions taken based on the investigator’s petition. However, the Penitentiary Service refused to provide information and exhorted to apply to the relevant investigative division. Whereas, the information holder is obliged to provide the information, or, in case of not having that power, to hand the query to the competent body.


It was only after applying to the RA Ministry of Justice that the Control Service of the Ministry of Justice sent samples of recommendations issued on the basis of the petition. As the response informs, the issues raised were discussed during the consultation held in the central body of the penitentiary service and recommendations were given to the heads of penitentiary institutions in order to exclude recurrence of such violations. We were also informed that on May 13, 2015, Artur Harutyunyan – head of the medical unit of “Nubarashen” penitentiary institution- was made redundant; and surgeon physician Levon Navoyan was made redundant on April 19, 2016.


The doctors who distorted the records of the convict’s outpatient card were made redundant, however, as a result of their improper work, doctor-experts can not give a conclusion pertaining to the causal link between the violations made in the provision of medical aid by doctors and the convict’s death. The conclusion of the expertise confirmed that the convict was transferred from the penitentiary institution to the specialized hospital late, yet, the experts did not manage to conclude whether there was a casual link between the above-mentioned fact and S. Gevorgyan’s death. The body conducting the proceedings did not conduct double commission expertise, found no delict and dismissed the proceedings of the case on February 12, 2019. The representative of the victim’s successor – A. Zalyan, appealed the decision in Yerevan city Prosecutor General’s Office and after receiving a refusal, appealed the decision of dismissing the case in Yerevan city General Jurisdiction Court. He mentioned that improper examination was conducted and as a result of that the victim’s rights were violated.  


The Court has not examined the appeal yet.


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