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Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Armenia

Strasbourg, 27.05.2010 – A delegation of the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) recently carried out a 12-day visit to Armenia. The visit, which began on 10 May 2010, was the CPT’s third periodic visit to Armenia.

 The delegation assessed progress made since previous visits and the extent to which the Committee’s recommendations have been implemented, in particular in the areas of initial detention by law enforcement agencies, imprisonment and psychiatry. Further, the delegation visited for the first time in Armenia a social care home.

 In the course of the visit, the CPT’s delegation held consultations with Gevork DANIELYAN, Minister of Justice, Nikolay ARUSTAMYAN, Deputy Minister of Justice, Hunan POGHOSYAN, First Deputy Head of the Police Service, Artur OSIKYAN, Deputy Head of the Police Service, Aleksandr GHUKASYAN, Deputy Minister of Health, and Ara NAZARYAN, Deputy Minister of Defence, as well as with other senior Government officials. It also had a meeting with Aghvan HOVSEPYAN, Prosecutor General, and Andranik MIRZOYAN, Head of the Special Investigation Service. Further, it met Armen HARUTYUNYAN, Human Rights Defender, and members of his team. Discussions were also held with representatives of non-governmental and international organisations active in areas of concern to the CPT.

At the end of the visit, the delegation presented its preliminary observations to the Armenian authorities.

The visit was carried out by the following members of the CPT:  

-           Mauro PALMA (Italian), President of the CPT and Head of delegation

-           Ivan JANKOVIĆ (Serbian)

-           Isolde KIEBER (Liechtensteiner)

-           Marzena KSEL (Polish)

-           George TUGUSHI (Georgian).

They were supported by Johan FRIESTEDT and Stephanie MEGIES of the CPT's Secretariat, and assisted by two experts: Paul BUSCHINI, Director of Operations, Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, Dublin (Ireland) and Clive MEUX, consultant forensic psychiatrist, Oxford (United Kingdom).

 The delegation visited the following places:

 Police establishments

-           Detention Centre of Yerevan City Police Department

-           Kentron District Police Division, Yerevan

-           Nor Nork District Police Division, Yerevan

-           Shengavit District Police Division, Yerevan

 -          Abovyan Police Division

-           Armavir Police Division

-           Charentsavan Police Division

-           Echmiatzin Police Division

-           Gavar Police Division

-           Martuni Police Division

-           Sevan Police Division

-           Vardenis Police Division

 Military police establishments

-           Isolator of the Military Police Headquarters, Yerevan

-           Disciplinary Isolator of Yerevan Military Police Division

-           Military Police Disciplinary Battalion, Hrazdan

-           Disciplinary Isolator of Sevan Military Police Division, Martuni

  National Security Service establishments

 -           Detention Facility of the National Security Service Headquarters, Yerevan

  Penitentiary establishments

-           Kosh Prison

-           Nubarashen Prison (including inmates serving life sentences)

-           Prison Hospital (psychiatric ward)

-           Vardashen Prison

 The delegation also examined the situation of life-sentenced prisoners at Yerevan-Kentron Prison.

 Psychiatric establishments

-           Nubarashen Psychiatric Hospital (forensic psychiatric wards)

-           Yerevan Nork Centre of Mental Health

 Social care homes

-           Vardenis Nursing Home (“Internat”).

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