Ruben Vardanyan’s family reports about torture in Baku prison

June 14 2024, 15:00


The family of former Artsakh State Minister and philanthropist Ruben Vardanyan, held in an Azerbaijani prison, has reported cases of brutal torture.

“Geneva, June 13, 2024.
As the captive’s family and his international lawyers have learned, during his hunger strike in April, Ruben was placed in a punishment cell, deprived of sleep and water, and forbidden to communicate with his family. We still do not know how these tortures affected his physical and mental state.

From April 5 to April 25, Ruben went on a hunger strike to protest against the unlawful detention and politically motivated persecution of him and other Armenian captives. In response, the administration of the pre-trial detention center of the State Security Service of Azerbaijan, where Ruben is currently being held, placed him in a punishment cell and kept him there throughout the hunger strike. The lights in the cell were kept on around the clock, which led to severe sleep deprivation and exhaustion.

In addition, he was forced to stand for extended periods of time and was deprived of drinking water for over two full days. Moreover, he was not allowed to bathe or change clothes; he was not given any toilet paper; he was not allowed to have any books or paper. Of particular concern, neither his lawyer nor the local ombudsman were allowed to visit him, and his communication with the outside world (for example, through phone calls with family) was cut off.”

Today, Ruben Vardanyan’s international group of lawyers sent an urgent appeal to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, asking them to condemn the Azerbaijani government’s cruel treatment of Ruben Vardanyan.

“We were shocked to learn about the horrors my father had to endure. It is frightening to even think about what is being done in Azerbaijan to other lesser-known prisoners who, unlike my father, do not receive international support. The inhumane treatment of political prisoners in Azerbaijan, be they Armenians, Azerbaijanis, or of any other nationality, must end. We call on the UN to hold the Azerbaijani government accountable and help protect my father’s life,” Vardanyan’s eldest son David said.