Hovhannes who spent 6 months in custody but finally found justice tells about his struggle, the violence and suppressions he was subjected to.
“The person who lost freedom lost hope for life. He doesn’t know when he will be released and what awaits him.”
At the beginning I did not figure out how long I will stay in prison. In Nubarashen penitentiary the cells are in a poor condition. The walls are covered with mould, insects and even scorpions entered the cells. The air was stuffy. Sometimes 14 people would stay in a cell equipped for 12.

I found myself in prison 2016 Sasna Tsrer raid of patrol police detachment and the events that followed it. I was actively protesting and as a result I was taken to police and was kept under custody for 6 months and 14 days. I was accused of throwing stones to and hitting the police. I knew I am innocent and have clear conscience.

I have manifested civil disobedience since 2013  fighting fake presidential elections. I was a student and was actively engaged in strikes. As a result I didn’t finish my studies and was left out of Informational Science state college.  

I was taken to police for the first time. I was in fear and worry that I will be imprisoned for 2 years. I had no idea of my rights. I was being subjected to psychological pressure, and persuaded not to take part in street protests. However I  took part in many civil movements after that and often times was subjected to violence on behalf of the police. I did not lose hope after being imprisoned.

I started to read Armenian and Russian literature in the penitentiary institution. I went on a hunger strike with a demand to be set free.

I knew that I am unrighteously accused and I was not pleading guilty. The hunger strike worked. 6 months after my arrest, in February 2017 the court released me and after the velvet revolution the case was closed. I have been a free person all my life and I continue feeling like that.

Human freedom and dignity are primary values for me. If I come across violations of people’s freedom and dignity I will go out to the street to fight it.

Justice means people are equal against the law. That’s civil awareness, If someone violates your rights he is not more privileged than you. But if he does violate it you must go out and fight.

For more please watch the video.


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