Tagasi Council of Europe anti-torture Committee publishes report on Armenia and response of the Armenian Government

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 December 2011, together with the response of the Armenian Government. These documents have been made public at the request of the Armenian authorities.

The 2011 ad hoc visit was carried out to assess the steps taken by the Armenian authorities to implement long-standing recommendations made by the CPT, in particular those concerning the treatment of prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment. The Committee’s delegation visited Yerevan-Kentron Prison and carried out a targeted visit to the unit for lifers and the disciplinary unit of Nubarashen Prison.

The delegation received no recent allegations of deliberate physical ill-treatment of prisoners by staff in either of the prisons visited. In general, the delegation observed that the attitude of staff towards prisoners was quite correct.

However, the poor material environment and impoverished regime at Kentron Prison made it unsuitable for lengthy periods of detention. As for the conditions of detention of life-sentenced prisoners held at Kentron, the CPT states that they could be considered as amounting to inhuman treatment. More generally, the Committee notes that virtually none of the recommendations made after previous visits as regards the detention of lifers have been implemented.

In their response, the Armenian authorities provide information on the various measures being taken to address the concerns raised by the Committee. In particular, they stress that most of the CPT’s recommendations will be implemented once the new prison in Armavir becomes operational in December 2013.

The CPT’s visit report and the response of the Armenian authorities are available in English on the Committee’s website: http://www.cpt.coe.int.

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