YEREVAN (A.W)— A criminal case was launched to investigate the death of “the bringer of bread,” Artur Sargsyan, on March 17, a day after his death in a Yerevan hospital.
According to the Investigative Committee of Armenia, the criminal case has been launched against those providing medical assistance to Sargsyan. They have been accused of “improperly fulfilling their professional duties, which has negligently caused the death of a patient being treated.”
Meanwhile, protests continue on Mashtots Ave. in downtown Yerevan. Civilnet has been providing live video coverage.
A day earlier, on March 16, protests began immediately after Sargsyan’s death. Participants attempted to march towards the Ministry of Justice but were blocked by the police. As a result, participants staged a sit-in demonstration at Liberty Square.
A group in Vanadzor—the country’s third largest city—also held a candlelight vigil in Sargsyan’s honor on the evening of March 16 in the city’s central Hayk Square. The organizers announced that they will be hosting another vigil on the evening of March 17 as well.
After a campaign rally in Arabkir on the evening of March 17, Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan said he was “very sorry” for the Sargsyan’s death. When asked whether there were breaches in the justice system, Karapetyan answered that all inconsistencies must be corrected.
Sargsyan died on March 16 after he was hospitalized on the evening of March 15 and did not regain consciousness after an emergency surgery.
Sargsyan was arrested in Aug. 2016 for taking food to members of Sasna Tsrer, the armed group who had seized a Yerevan police station. Sargsyan was released in December due to an illness. He was arrested again on Feb. 9 for not reporting to a case hearing after being summoned, and had been on a hunger strike in a prison hospital.
After a petition signed by several Members of Parliament, he was released from prison and immediately taken to a hospital. He decided to leave the hospital, but was admitted again on March 15.