Yesterday, Gnuni Vardanyan, a life-term prisoner in Nubarashen
penitentiary, sewed his mouth in the sign of protest because the prison
administration didn't allow him to call the human rights defender's
hotline. The prisoner, of course, wanted to tell the ombudsman
something, but meeting obstacles, he resorted to this extreme step.

It seems that the prisoner's step is absurd, but phone calls are a
serious issue for life-term prisoners and not only. There are many
notices about bad attitude towards life-term prisoners. Considering
regular deaths, including in suspicious conditions, the tension and
the psychological side of it becomes evident.

Life-term prisoners are allowed to call only once or twice a month. If
the prisoners calls and is unable to talk to his relative, he should
wait for a long time to be able to call again. They can call also
from mobiles but it is too expensive for life-term prisoners.

The limit of phone calls was introduced by the minister of justice
Hrayr Tovmasyan. In general, there is much dissatisfaction from the
minister, especially due to the increasing deaths in prisons. Yet
the minister has not given any clarification and does not react to
the press reports.

As to mouth-sewing by prisoners, we know what Hrayr Tovmasyan thinks
about it. Once he said it is like when girls wear earrings.

Minister's opinion recalls soviet times: if you are a prisoner,
you are not a man.

Zhanna Alexanyan, http://jfhr.am 14:09 02/07/2013 Story from Lragir.am
News: http://www.lragir.am/index/eng/0/right/view/30336