ArmInfo. Several political forces have suspended their election campaign following the death of Arthur Sargsyan, who supplied food to the Sasna Tsrer (Daredevils of Sassoon) group last summer.
In particular, the Tsarukyan and Ohanyan-Raffi-Oskanian (ORO) blocs have made statements, saying that on March 17 and 18 they will hold no campaign events. The ORO bloc says that Sargsyan's self-sacrifice cannot remain traceless and it should make the Armenian society conduct a joint fight. "We must take steps to consolidate the political forces to change the power in the country," the statement says.
Tsarukyan bloc leader Gagik Tsarukyan, in turn, noted that Sargsyan's death is a big tragedy for all the citizens of the country. The Armenian National Congress (ANC) has also expressed its condolence over Sargsyan's death and condemned the relevant bodies' violation of human rights and the Criminal Code. The ANC demands revealing the cause of Sargsyan's death and holding the culprits accountable.
Leader of the Apricot Country Party Zaruhi Postanjyan said that Sargsyan was killed by the authorities, who tortured him. "The authorities should have taken all measures to provide Sargsyan with all necessary things during his hunger strike. However, they did nothing," she said, adding that very often the convicts on hunger strike do not even receive elementary medical assistance.
Meanwhile, Spokesman for the Republican Party of Armenia, Vice Speaker of the Armenian Parliament Eduard Sharmazanov urges the political forces not to speculate on Sargsyan's death. As regards Sargsyan's death cause, Sharmazanov abstained from any assessments, saying that it is the specialists' affair. "If the examination finds out that there were unconscientious actions and law violations, I think the culprits will be punished," he stressed. Sharmazanov noted that while being in detention Sargsyan refused medical assistance for several times despite his health deterioration. To remind, Arthur Sargsyan, the man who delivered food in summer 2016 to the Sasna Tsrer (Daredevils of Sassoon) group occupying a police compound in Yerevan, died on March 16 ten days after being released from prison following a 25-day hunger strike. He passed away at Armenia Medical Center in Yerevan, where he underwent bowel surgery the previous night. To recall, in July 2016 Sargsyan drove his car through a police cordon to deliver food to the armed members of Sasna Tsrer group during their two-week standoff with security forces. He surrendered to them on July 31 along with the remaining group members holed up in the compound. Sargsyan was arrested and charged with aiding the Sasna Tsrer group. Armenia's Special Investigative Service agreed on December 31 to free him pending trial due to his deteriorating health condition. The suspect suffered from several chronic diseases. The Special Investigative Service (SIS) again detained him on February 9, saying that he ignored a summons from SIS officials investigating the standoff which left three police officers dead. Sargsyan went on a hunger strike in protest against his detention. The Office of the Prosecutor-General ordered Sargsyan's release after opposition parliamentarians posted bail for him on March 6. He was transported from a prison hospital to the Armenia Medical Center.