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Ruben Vardanyan goes on hunger strike

The office of the social entrepreneur’s family reports that Ruben Vardanyan has gone on a hunger strike. He decided to take this desperate step after Baku repeatedly ignored requests to ensure a fair and transparent trial in accordance with international legal norms. He announced the hunger strike back on April 5, but Ruben Vardanyan’s family found out about it only today, as they had been unable to contact him by phone.

“I am deeply concerned about my father’s health and well-being,” said the philanthropist’s eldest son, David Vardanyan. The philanthropist’s relatives have not seen him for almost 200 days. David reminded: in violation of all international norms, the prisoner was deprived of phone communication with his family. “We have had absolutely no contact with him since he has gone on this hunger strike beginning April 5,” David added.

Ruben Vardanyan’s family has made the following demands:

1. Release him and other Armenian political prisoners immediately and unconditionally.

2. If an illegal trial does take place, it must be held before the detention order expires in May. It must comply with international legal standards and allow the attendance of international observers and the media.

3. The Azerbaijani authorities must immediately allow members of the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit Ruben Vardanyan and other political prisoners in order to assess their health status. Telephone communication between Ruben Vardanyan and his family must be resumed.

4. Any peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan must include the release of all Armenian political prisoners.

5. Azerbaijan will not be able to host the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP29) without taking all of these measures.