Strasbourg, 19.03.2010 - The Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) has published today the report on its ad hoc visit to Armenia in March 2008, together with the response of the Armenian Government. Both documents have been made public at the request of the Armenian authorities.
The main purpose of the visit was to examine the treatment of persons detained in relation to events which followed the Presidential election of 19 February 2008. In the aftermath of the election, on 1 March 2008, a police operation took place aimed at dispersing opposition rallies in Yerevan. Dozens of persons were arrested in the course of and following that operation, hundreds were injured and a number of persons died.
The delegation carried out individual interviews with most of the persons remanded in custody on charges related to the post-election events. Practically all the persons who had been detained on 1 March 2008 alleged that they had been physically ill-treated at the time of their apprehension, even though they apparently had not offered resistance. The delegation also received a few allegations of physical ill-treatment at the time of questioning by the police.
The CPT has recommended that the investigation into the events of 1 March 2008 be conducted in accordance with the criteria of an effective investigation, and that its results be used to provide guidance for future police operations in terms of planning, training and police tactics in crowd-control situations. The visit report also contains other recommendations aimed at combating ill-treatment by law enforcement officials, including through strengthening the formal safeguards against ill-treatment which are offered to persons deprived of their liberty by the police (i.e. the rights of notification of custody, access to a lawyer and access to a doctor).
The CPT’s visit report and the Armenian Government’s response are available in English on the Committee's website: www.cpt.coe.int