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Armenia: Official Says 14 Died In Prisons

Yerevan, 9 September 1997 (RFE/RL) -- A senior Armenian law enforcement officer says 14 inmates have died this year in Armenia's prisons because of harsh conditions and poor medical care.

The officer told a meeting at the Armenian prosecutor's office yesterday that the lack of medicines and doctors, low quality food and the absence of adequate clothing contribute to the spread of diseases that threaten to "double and even triple" the mortality rate in the country's jails.

The total prison population in Armenia was estimated by another official of the interior and security ministry last week at between 5,000 and 6,000.