Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
Visit to Armenia undertaken from 3 to 6 September 2013: observations and recommendations addressed to the national preventive mechanism
Report of the Subcommittee *
1.In accordance with the mandate set forth in the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, members of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment visited Armenia from 3 to 6 September 2013.
2.The Subcommittee was represented by the following members: Mari Amos (head of the delegation), Víctor Madrigal-Borloz and Miguel Sarre Iguíniz.
3.The Subcommittee was assisted by two human rights officers from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and by four local interpreters.
4.The primary objective of the visit was to provide advisory services and technical assistance to the national mechanism for the prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of Armenia, in accordance with article 11 (b) (ii) and (iii) of the Optional Protocol. The visit was intended to assist in strengthening the capacity and the mandate of the national preventive mechanism and in evaluating the needs and the means necessary to strengthen the protection of persons deprived of their liberty from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in Armenia. Another objective of the visit was to assess the strategies in place to address the current challenges and difficulties faced by the mechanism, taking due account of the Subcommittee’s guidelines on national preventive mechanisms (CAT/OP/12/5).
5.A number of meetings were held with the members and staff of the national preventive mechanism, some of whom were from the Department for the Prevention of Torture and Violence of the Human Rights Defender’s Office and some of whom were from the Expert Council on the Prevention of Torture and Violence. The meetings permitted the Subcommittee to discuss the mechanism’s working methods and to explore ways of strengthening and increasing its effectiveness. To observe how the mechanism operates, the Subcommittee also visited, together with the mechanism, three places of detention: the Nubarashen psychiatric hospital, the Nubarashen penitentiary and the Yerevan detention facility. The Subcommittee wishes to express its gratitude to the mechanism for its cooperation and for having facilitated the visit.
6.While in Armenia, the Subcommittee also met with officials from the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Ministry of Health Care, the Standing Committee on State and Legal Affairs of the National Assembly, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Police, the Special Investigation Service, the Ministry of Defence, the Military Police and the State Migration Service of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development. It also met with representatives of three public monitoring groups and a civil society organization (see annex I).
7.The present report contains observations and recommendations to the national preventive mechanism, which is the entity charged with fulfilling the mandate of the Human Rights Defender. The recommendations were made pursuant to the Subcommittee’s mandate to offer training and technical assistance and to advise and assist national preventive mechanisms, in accordance with article 11 (b) (ii) and (iii) of the Optional Protocol.
8.The planning of the Subcommittee advisory visit was a joint undertaking, as both the national preventive mechanism and the Subcommittee had agreed in advance on the agenda of the joint meetings. Those meetings allowed the Subcommittee to understand the achievements and challenges, as well as the legal, structural and institutional obstacles, faced by the mechanism, along with its working methods.
9.During the course of the visit, joint site visits to the three places of detention mentioned in paragraph 5 above were conducted (see annex II). The places of deprivation of liberty were chosen by the national preventive mechanism. The visits permitted the Subcommittee to analyse the methodology of the visiting teams of the two components of the mechanism, the mechanism itself and the Expert Council. During the joint visits, the members of the Subcommittee acted as observers, while the members of the mechanism and the Expert Council led the visits.
10.The present report will be sent to the national preventive mechanism, on a confidential basis. The mechanism will then decide whether to make it public.
11.The Subcommittee will send a separate, confidential, report to the Armenian authorities, in which it will make recommendations to the State party.
II.National preventive mechanism
12.Armenia acceded to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment on 13 September 1993 and to its Optional Protocol on 14 September 2006. On 8 April 2008, Parliament designated the Human Rights Defender’s Office as the national preventive mechanism, through an amendment to the 2003 Law on the Human Rights Defender. Article 6.1 of the Law, introduced in 2008, states that the Human Rights Defender is recognized as an independent national preventive mechanism under the Optional Protocol. That and subsequent amendments provide no further detail on the functioning of the mechanism.
13.The tasks and powers of the national preventive mechanism therefore derive from the Optional Protocol, in particular articles 19 and 20, and have been further elaborated in the relevant internal regulation.
14.From 2009 to 2011, the national preventive mechanism’s functions were carried out by a team of three staff members of the Human Rights Defender’s Office and four representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) selected by the Human Rights Defender. Visits to places of detention were carried out on the condition that delegations comprised at least one staff member of the Office and that the Human Rights Defender was informed of every visit beforehand. Funding came from a three-year project implemented under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights.
15.In 2011, the Human Rights Defender established the Department for the Prevention of Torture and Violence within the Human Rights Defender’s Office, which was charged with the fulfilment of the Defender’s national preventive mechanism mandate. The Department consists of four professionals (the head of the department, a psychologist, a lawyer and a doctor), who take part in the visits of the mechanism. As at August 2013, the position of psychologist was vacant. The mechanism indicated to the Subcommittee that the filling of vacant posts would depend on the budget allocations for 2014.
16.The involvement of NGOs in the national preventive mechanism was formalized in 2010 with the establishment of the Expert Council on the Prevention of Torture and Violence by an order of the Human Rights Defender (order No. 002-L). Pursuant to article 26 of the Law on the Human Rights Defender, the Defender may establish an expert council composed of individuals with a background in human rights and fundamental freedoms, who shall be involved on a voluntary basis and perform their activities without compensation. The Expert Council members support the Human Rights Defender’s Office in carrying out its activities as the mechanism by taking part in visits and compiling relevant documents on those visits, which are later included in the mechanism’s report. The Expert Council functions in accordance with regulations approved by the Defender. It cannot publish its own reports, as it was established by and is an adjunct to the Human Rights Defender’s Office.
17.Thus, the national preventive mechanism is de facto based on an “ombudsman plus” model (not de jure, since the involvement of civil society in the work of the mechanism is regulated by order of the Public Defender). The involvement of civil society was further regulated through a memorandum of understanding signed in June 2011 between the Human Rights Defender and seven civil society organizations.
18.As at the end of March 2013, the Expert Council was composed of 11 members (seven NGO representatives, three independent experts with expertise in psychology, sociology and law and one international expert from a European Union advisory group). Members are appointed by the Human Rights Defender. However, as there may be up to 20 members, there are also vacant positions.
19.In February 2012, the order of the Public Defender was amended, as a result of which the Expert Council started to perform its functions totally independently and without administrative support from the Human Rights Defender’s Office. Moreover, under the order of procedure of February 2012, the reports of the Expert Council are to be sent to the Department on the Prevention of Torture and Violence of the Human Rights Defender’s Office for review and possible additions. The reviewed reports are then returned to the Expert Council for adoption. However, the order of procedure clearly indicates that any information received by the Expert Council is at the exclusive disposal of the Human Rights Defender.
20.The amendment to the 2012 order was introduced because no funds were available to pay for the expenses of the members of the Expert Council, who continued to carry out visits in March and April 2012, albeit in a supporting capacity vis-à-vis the national preventive mechanism. In May or June 2012, however, the Expert Council discontinued operations owing to the continued lack of funding.
21.The Subcommittee welcomes the fact that the national preventive mechanism has been operational for more than four years and has conducted numerous visits to various places of deprivation of liberty.
III.Recommendations to the national preventive mechanism
A.Recommendations relating to the main legal, institutional and structural issues
22.While the Optional Protocol leaves the decision regarding the institutional format of the national preventive mechanism to the State party, it is imperative that the mechanism be structured and that it carry out its mandate in accordance with the Optional Protocol, as reflected in the Subcommittee’s guidelines on national preventive mechanisms.
23.As a general observation, the Subcommittee notes that the national preventive mechanism is an entity distinct from the Human Rights Defender’s Office, not only in terms of its legal framework but also in terms of its functions, its institutional framework and guarantees of independence. The same applies to the members of the Expert Council carrying out mechanism-related activities.
24.The Subcommittee also notes that the current normative deficiencies of the national preventive mechanism, including its lack of a clear mandate, format and structure, generate tensions between the Human Rights Defender’s Office and the Expert Council. The Subcommittee has witnessed the complex interaction between the mechanism and the Expert Council, which does not foster team spirit when mechanism-related activities are undertaken. The Subcommittee believes that this undermines the functioning of the institution, jeopardizes the institutional credibility of the mechanism and is not conducive to the establishment of a credible, visible and effective mechanism for the prevention of torture in Armenia.
25.Nonetheless, the Subcommittee believes that making the necessary amendments to the legal framework of the national preventive mechanism, irrespective of the format of that framework (whether it is a separate piece of legislation or an amendment to the current one), will provide a definitive solution to the current legal and operational ambiguity.
26. The Subcommittee recommends that the national preventive mechanism take proactive steps to submit proposals and comments concerning its legal, institutional and structural framework. In conformity with the guidelines on the national preventive mechanisms, the Subcommittee recommends clearly separating the activities and functions of the mechanism from those of the Human Rights Defender ’ s Office (see CAT/OP/12/5, para. 32).
1.Visibility and identification
27.The Subcommittee believes that the visibility of the national preventive mechanism could be improved by it being a completely separate institution from the Human Rights Defender’s Office, especially since persons deprived of their liberty and civil society organizations do not perceive the mechanism as independent. The Subcommittee is of the view that the mechanism’s lack of visibility may have a detrimental effect on its efficiency and credibility.
28.The Subcommittee is concerned about the confusion between the roles of the national preventive mechanism and those of the NGOs that make up the Expert Council. The mechanism should be clearly identified in all visits, meetings, written communications with the authorities, places of detention and other institutions. All members of the mechanism and the experts participating in its activities should refrain from taking up any role other than the one assigned to them for the fulfilment of the mandate of the mechanism.
29. The Subcommittee recommends that the national preventive mechanism enhance its institutional visibility through public awareness campaigns and other promotional activities. The Subcommittee also recommends producing material on the mechanism ’ s mandate and activities and distributing it in places of deprivation of liberty and among civil society at large, clearly identifying such materials as having been produced by the mechanism. Finally, the national preventive mechanism should disseminate its annual reports, including by transmitting them to the Subcommittee, as provided for and for the purposes set out in the Optional Protocol (see CAT/OP/12/5, para. 40).
30.The lack of financial resources, despite not being the national preventive mechanism’s responsibility, is a major obstacle for its efficient functioning.
31. The Subcommittee recommends that, in evaluating the financial needs of the national preventive mechanism, account be taken of all the activities mandated under the Optional Protocol. In that connection, the continuous problem of insufficient resources, including of staff, will be raised by the Subcommittee in its final report to the State party. In its report, the Subcommittee will highlight that it is only by solving the problems connected with resources that the State party will be able to create the preconditions necessary for an effective national preventive mechanism and, as such, fulfil its obligations under the Optional Protocol.
32.While ensuring a clear normative framework and adequate resources will improve the efficiency of the national preventive mechanism, more is needed. A coherent, practical, functioning mechanism requires the adoption, from the outset, of clear working methodologies for all its functions, in accordance with the Optional Protocol and the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (the Paris Principles). Better communication and improved coordination between the mechanism and the Expert Council is also key for both to work efficiently and in a collegial manner.
33. The Subcommittee urges the members of the national preventive mechanism to improve information-sharing by holding regular meetings and using other channels of communication, by adopting a collaborative attitude and by adopting clearly defined working methods for all its functions.
4.Existing and draft legislation
34.The Subcommittee notes the very limited role of the national preventive mechanism in terms of the transmittal of observations and recommendations to the authorities, including comments on existing and draft legislation, especially the piece of legislation relating to the fulfilment of its mandate in accordance with article 19 (c) of the Optional Protocol. Two reasons for this might be the lack of a clear legal basis for the mechanism to comment on draft laws and the lack of human resources to carry out that function effectively.
35. In order to fully discharge its mandate in accordance with article 19 (c) of the Optional Protocol, the Subcommittee recommends that the national preventive mechanism take proactive steps to submit proposals and comments regarding existing and draft legislation that relates to the prevention of torture and other forms of ill-treatment. To that end, it should develop a proactive strategy for setting priorities that is based on a comprehensive analysis of the situation and follow up on its comments and recommendations (see CAT/OP/12/5, para. 35).
36. The Subcommittee also recommends that the national preventive mechanism regularly publish the results of its work, be it through its annual report, a thematic report or reports on visits, and to make public its observations on existing and draft legislation.
B.Recommendations on the main methodological issues relating to visits
37.In order to assist and advise the national preventive mechanism in its task of protecting persons deprived of their liberty, the Subcommittee makes the recommendations below concerning preparations for visits to places of detention, the methods to be used during such visits and steps to be taken following their completion.
1.Prior to visits
38.The Subcommittee notes that the national preventive mechanism, as a collegial body of experts, could have a better-defined strategy. It should agree on and establish a long-term strategy of its activities and an annual plan of work including unannounced and follow-up visits to all places of detention under the State’s jurisdiction where persons are or may be deprived of their liberty, in accordance with articles 4 and 29 of the Optional Protocol.
39. The Subcommittee recommends that the national preventive mechanism develop criteria for selecting the facilities to be visited and ensure that all facilities are visited periodically. Such criteria should be based on the type and size of the institution and the severity of the human rights issues of which the mechanism is aware; no institution should be excluded either because of its type or location.
Planning and standard operating procedures
40.The Subcommittee notes that the national preventive mechanism is characterised by the absence of clearly defined procedures for the planning of its work and the conduct of visits to places of detention, impairing the efficiency of the visits.
41. The Subcommittee recommends that the national preventive mechanism adopt standard operating procedures for visits of different types of facilities that are monitored and for interviewing individually persons deprived of their liberty in all places of detention, and that it apply them consistently. It also recommends that the mechanism divide the tasks to be completed by all its members before their arrival at the place to be visited in order to avoid duplication of work, allow the efficient execution of the planned activities, enable members to cover all necessary areas and make better use of the limited resources. The mechanism should divide tasks and clearly attribute roles among the members of team. The tasks to be carried out during visits should be assigned on the basis of the professional qualifications of the mechanism ’ s members.
42. The Subcommittee also recommends that the mechanism ’ s member choose specific issues to be addressed with particular attention, depending on a case-by-case assessment of each place.
Staff training on common approaches
43.While welcoming the information that all visits are unannounced, the Subcommittee emphasizes the confidential nature of the visits, as envisaged in the Optional Protocol. Furthermore, it has observed some inconsistencies among the different members in respect of the methodology used and the approach taken for conducting interviews during visits.
44. The Subcommittee recommends that the national preventive mechanism ensure that the standard operating procedures referred to in paragraphs 41 and 42 above are uniformly applied by all its members, with a view to ensuring consistency of working methods and the transfer of knowledge among all. Adequate training for all persons participating in visits, including associated experts, is essential and should be sought, including through the development of handbooks and assistance from international partners.
Introduction to the authorities
45.The Subcommittee is concerned that members of the national preventive mechanism have not always introduced themselves well to the authorities in the places of deprivation of liberty that they have visited. It reiterates that members should clearly identify themselves as being part of the mechanism and not of the Human Rights Defender’s Office. During its visit to Armenia, the Subcommittee observed that none of the members of the team were clearly identifiable as mechanism members or experts, i.e. they were not wearing badges, which are important both for the purpose of identification and for increasing the visibility of the institution.
46. The Subcommittee recommends that members of the national preventive mechanism explain clearly their mandate, their working methods and their interview practices to the authorities. The Subcommittee is of the opinion that an appropriate and complete presentation to the authorities, especially on the mandate and the objective of the visit, has a didactic effect on the authorities and contributes to the visibility and credibility of the mechanism. In addition, the visiting team should be clearly identified as being part of the mechanism, i.e. its members should wear badges or vests. A leaflet with information could also be provided to the authorities.
47.The Subcommittee is also concerned that members of the national preventive mechanism have rarely introduced themselves to detainees in an appropriate manner. On numerous occasions, members of the team have introduced themselves as coming from the Human Rights Defender’s Office rather than the mechanism. The key principles of confidentiality and the voluntary nature of the interview have not always been mentioned. The Subcommittee is of the opinion that an appropriate and complete presentation builds trust with the interviewees and facilitates communication and information-sharing. In addition, the members of the visiting team have not always clearly identified themselves as mechanism members or experts.
48. The Subcommittee recommends that members of the national preventive mechanism in charge of interviews introduce themselves to the persons deprived of liberty by stating their name, their profession and the position they occupy within the mechanism. The interviewer should explain the mandate of the mechanism, placing particular emphasis on its preventive nature. He or she should also obtain the consent of the interviewee and make it clear that the interview is confidential, voluntary and can be interrupted at any time at the interviewee ’ s request. As indicated above, members of the mechanism visiting a place of deprivation of liberty should also be clearly identified.
49. The Subcommittee also recommends that the national preventive mechanism prepare a leaflet describing the mechanism ’ s mandate and working methods, explaining the concept of informed consent and providing contact information. The leaflet should also inform and encourage interviewees to report any reprisal they might experience after the visit.
50.During its visit to Armenia, the Subcommittee noted that some interviews were done collectively; others took place in the presence of the institution’s staff or in rooms with open doors. Detainees were often treated with condescendence. The interviewers should concentrate on their task and not, for instance, take telephone calls during the visits. On some occasions, members of the national preventive mechanism delegation showed collusion and friendship with facility personnel, which must absolutely be avoided, as such behaviour affects the credibility of the interviews and of the mechanism.
51. As private interviews with persons deprived of their liberty are a basic aspect of the preventive visits, as specifically stated in the Optional Protocol, the Subcommittee recommends conducting private individual and unsupervised interviews with detainees and employees of the host institution, as well as with the medical personnel. In addition, the members of the visiting team must concentrate on their tasks and interviewers must be fully focused on the meeting with the detainees; there must be no manifestation of friendship with the staff of the institution visited, nor must any be perceived. Finally, detainees have to be treated with humanity and their private space within the cells should be respected.
52.The Subcommittee noted that on several occasions interviewers focused on the background of the reason for the detention and on individual complaints and that they then attempted to address those reasons or provide recommendations. Although the intention is laudable, this is not the primary mandate of the national preventive mechanism; the Subcommittee recalls that the mandate of the mechanism is characterized by its preventive approach and that the objectives of mechanism members are to identify patterns and detect systemic issues that place detainees at risk of torture.
53. The Subcommittee recalls that the mandate of the national preventive mechanism is characterized by its preventive approach and that the objectives of mechanism members are to identify patterns and detect systemic issues that place detainees at risk of torture. The members of the mechanism team should advise detainees on how to formulate individual complaints and to whom they should address them and should seek to ensure the effectiveness of the complaints mechanism as a means of prevention.
3.Follow-up to visits
54.The Subcommittee highlights the need to better protect interviewed persons against possible reprisals. While in Armenia, the Subcommittee noticed that visiting teams did not mention to the authorities of the institutions at the final debriefing that any form of intimidation or reprisal against persons deprived of their liberty constituted a violation of the State party’s obligations. It would have been particularly important to do so given that some interviews were not conducted in a completely confidential manner and that some interviewees were reluctant to speak out.
55. The Subcommittee recommends that the national preventive mechanism strengthen the protection from intimidation, sanctions or reprisals of persons whom it interviewed or met with by, inter alia, conducting follow-up visits and contacting family members. It should clearly warn the authorities of the visited detention facilities that any kind of reprisal is inadmissible and will be reported and sanctioned. The mechanism needs to adopt a strategy for dealing with reprisals and the threat of reprisals.
Debriefing the authorities
56.The Subcommittee noted that, although the authorities were briefed after the visits, the briefings were not conducive to resolving the issues identified, some of which were not directly relevant to the mandate of the national preventive mechanism. In addition, while some interviewees did not accept to be interviewed or provided evasive replies on some matters, the mechanism members did not mention to the authorities of the institutions at the final meeting that any form of intimidation or reprisal against persons deprived of their liberty constituted a violation of the State party’s obligations.
57. The Subcommittee recommends that constructive debriefings be provided systematically to the persons responsible for the facilities visited, presenting preliminary observations and recommendations. Emphasis should be placed on feedback that calls for immediate action or is of a humanitarian nature. As a preventive measure, the possibility of reprisal should be systematically mentioned.
58.While in Armenia, the Subcommittee noted that there was no policy in place regarding the post-visit reporting to the authorities or the systematic transmittal of and follow-up to recommendations. After briefing the persons responsible for the facility visited, the national preventive mechanism should develop a strategy for presenting its visit reports to the authorities for publication and distribution and for using them as a platform for dialogue (see CAT/OP/1, para. 21, and CAT/OP/12/5, para. 38). Its visits will be much less effective if it does not issue a report following each visit.
59. The Subcommittee recommends that the national preventive mechanism prepare and make public a report on each visit it conducts (see CAT/OP/12/5, para. 36). The report should focus on prevention, identify the problems that exist and propose solutions in the form of recommendations. The recommendations must be concrete and well-founded, they should be directed at developing preventive measures to deal with shortcomings in systems and practices and they should be practicable (see CAT/OP/1, para. 20).
60. Pursuant to paragraph 36 of the Subcommittee ’ s guidelines on national preventive mechanisms, the Subcommittee recommends that the mechanism set up procedures for following up on its recommendations and that it do so, insofar as possible, in conjunction with the authorities.
61. The Subcommittee recommends that the national preventive mechanism issue an annual report describing the effectiveness of its interaction with the Government in assessing and eradicating torture and ill-treatment in places of detention in Armenia. The report should be publicized widely and be distinct from other statements related to the work of the Human Rights Defender ’ s Office.
62. The Subcommittee regards its recent advisory visit and the present report as the commencement of a constructive dialogue with the national preventive mechanism of Armenia. The Subcommittee stands ready to provide technical assistance and advice to the mechanism, to reinforce its capacity to prevent torture and ill-treatment in all places of deprivation of liberty in Armenia and to translate the common goal of prevention from commitments into reality.
63. The Subcommittee recalls that prevention of torture constitutes an ongoing and wide-ranging obligation of the State party , and that that obligation is met through an efficient national preventive mechanism. The Subcommittee encourages the national preventive mechanism of Armenia to review and strengthen its working methods and to avail itself of training courses in order to improve its ability to discharge its responsibilities under the Optional Protocol, including through the assistance of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and to follow up on the present recommendations.
64. In conclusion, the Subcommittee is aware that the national preventive mechanism of Armenia is facing a complex challenge at the moment and that its legal, institutional and structural framework is at a crossroads, as its imminent revision is being considered. At the same time, it notes that this presents a unique opportunity, which the mechanism should seize, to revise its framework by clarifying it, thereby improving the efficiency of its activities.
65. The Subcommittee also encourages the national preventive mechanism to transmit its annual reports to the Subcommittee and to reaffirm its readiness to do all it can to help achieve the shared aim of preventing torture and ill-treatment and ensuring that commitments translate into action.
66. The Subcommittee recommends that the national preventive mechanism make the present report public and requests that it be notified of the any decision in that regard.
Government officials and other persons with whom the Subcommittee met
Prosecutor General’s Office
Mr. Harutyun Harutyunyan, Senior Prosecutor
Mr. Gagik Khachikyan, Head of the Department on Crimes against Humanity
Mr. Vardan Avetisyan, Head of the Department on Control to the Crimes
Ministry of Health Care
Mr. Tsaghik Vardanyan, Head of the Department on Health-care Projects and Quality Management
Ministry of Education and Science
Ms. Narine Hovhannisyan, Head of the Department on General Education
Ministry of Justice
Ms. Narine Solomonyan, Head of the International Legal Relations Department
Mr. Hayk Sargsyan, Assistant to the Minister of Justice
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ms. Karine Sujyan, Head of the Human Rights and Humanitarian Issues Division
Mr. Minas Arabyan, Head of the Department
Special Investigation Service
Mr. Armen Nadiryan, Deputy Head of the Special Investigation Service
Ministry of Defence
Mr. Alik Avetisyan, Deputy Head of the International Legal Unit
Mr. Hovik Petrosyan, Deputy Head of the Military Police
State Migration Service of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development
Mr. Petros Aghababyan, Head of the Legal Division
Ms. Lilit Yeremyan, Expert in the Standing Committee on State and Legal Affairs, National Assembly
C.National preventive mechanism
Human Rights Defender’s Office
Mr. Karen Andreasyan, Human Rights Defender
Ms. Ani Nersisyan, Head of the Torture and Violence Prevention Division
Mr. Vladimir Baghdasaryan, Torture and Violence Prevention Division
Mr. Sevak Mkrtchyan, Torture and Violence Prevention Division
Mr. Ruben Martirosyan, Head of the Criminal Procedural Rights Department
Ms. Anna Voskanyan, Adviser to the Ombudsman on External Relations
Ms. Erahuni Tumanyants, Expert on Prisoners’ and Soldiers’ Rights
Expert Council on the Prevention of Torture and Violence
Mr. Artak Kirakosyan, Civil Society Institute
Gayane Shahnazaryan, Civil Society Institute
Mr. Michael Aramyan, Foundation against violation of law
Mr. Varuzhan Sedrakyan, Children’s Association of Armenia
Ms. Mariam Martirosyan, Project Harmony International
Ms. Alina Derdzyan, Collaboration for Democracy Centre
Mr. Temik Khalapyan, Trtu
Ms. Sirarpi Mughdusyan, Social Justice
Ms. Laura Gasparyan, Armenian Association of Family Physicians after Grigor Magistros
Mr. Artur Atanesyan, Head of the Applied Sociology Department of Yerevan State University
D.Public monitoring groups
Prison monitoring group
Mr. Robert Revazyan, Armenian Helsinki Committee
Mr. Ruben Sargsyan
Police monitoring group
Ms. Hasmik Sahakyan
Mr. Suren Iskandaryan
Public monitoring group of special boarding schools
Mr. Artak Kirakosyan, Civil Society Institute
Mr. Varuzhan Sedrakyan, Children’s Association of Armenia
Ms. Mariam Martirosyan, Project Harmony International
Ms. Sirsard Mamikosyan
Open Society Foundation
Places of detention visited jointly by the national preventive mechanism and the Subcommittee
The national preventive mechanism and the Subcommittee jointly visited the following places of detention:
(a)The Nubarashen psychiatric hospital;
(b)The Nubarashen penitentiary;
(c)The Yerevan detention facility.