A New Platform to Discuss the Violations of the Freedom from Torture and Other Degrading and Inhumane Treatment in Armenia

Increasing Awareness on the Human Rights Situation in Closed Institutions” two-year project financed by the European Union (EU) and co-funded by Open Society Foundations (OSF) – Armenia․

The event aimed at creating a platform for discussing the issues in the field of human rights in closed institutions of Armenia, as well as for cooperation between the stakeholders in the field, such as decision makers, representatives of NGOs and media, etc.. The event had a significant role in the process of raising and reacting to the human rights violations in the field.

The event was marked with welcome speeches by Ms. Ekaterina DORODNOVA (Head of Political, Press and Information Section, European Union´s Delegation to Armenia), Suren KRMOYAN (Deputy Minister of the Justice of the Republic of Armenia) and Artyom SEDRAKYAN (Criminal Procedure and Military Personnel Rights Protection Department at Human Rights Defender’s Office of the Republic of Armenia)

Ekaterina Dorodnova noted that the respect for human rights is one of the key priorities of the EU and we implement a series of projects for that cause with a specific emphasis on prevention of torture.  She also mentioned that similar articles are included in the EU-Armenia CEPA agreement.

“The society has the right to know what is happening behind the closed doors in closed institutions, such as prisons and psychiatric institutions in particular. What we want for Armenia is to bring the conditions in those closed institutions in line with international legal standards and best practices. What we want to achieve with project “A Public Glimpse to Closed World” is to support investigative journalism. We need to promote the transparency and accountability of these closed institutions and reflect media’s watchdog role in this” told Ms. Dorodnova.

The deputy minister of Justice of RA Suren Krmoyan emphasized that the group of the speakers and their representativeness already proves the importance of the issue and the need for joint actions towards solutions. The deputy Minister assured that the legislation has been reformed and is in line with the Convention; however, the most important factors are the law enforcement practice and enforcement of clear preventive mechanisms.

“We especially value the role of the civil society and journalists to raise these issues, as they have an alternative view and the Government should take into account their views” told the deputy minister.

Artyom Sedrakyan (Criminal Procedure and Military Personnel Rights Protection Department at Human Rights Defender’s Office of the Republic of Armenia) mentioned that the work of civil society and journalists is especially important in raising and disclosing issues. He told, “Our staff has recently prepared a document that refers to the cooperation between the media and penitentiaries.”

During the event the experts and human rights defenders talked about the judicial cases, legislative amendments and political initiatives aimed to effective eradication of the torture and inhuman treatment in Armenia. Inter alia other related topics, the discussion covered topics related to expression and consequences of physical and psychological torture and inhuman, degrading treatment in  closed institutions, as well as in special schools and special care institutions of the Republic of Armenia. 

If you have any questions or need any clarifications, please do not hesitate to contact our Project assistant Ms. Maria Abrahamyan at maria@forequalrights.org or by calling +374 91 18 15 05.

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“Public Journalism Club” (PJC) NGO in consortium with the “For Equal Rights” NGO (FER) launched “A Public Glimpse into a Closed World: Enhancing Public Information on and Awareness on Human Rights Situation in Penitentiaries and Psychiatric Residential Institutions in Armenia” two-year project financed by the European Union (EU) and co-funded by Open Society Foundations (OSF) – Armenia. The project started in December 2017 and will last 24 months.

The overall objective of the project is to improve human rights situation in closed institutions, as well as in special schools and special care institutions through increasing public awareness and debate on relevant issues and possible solutions.

 

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