Presentation and discussion of the Group’s Annual Report on its activities in 2016.

According to the activity report of 2016 published by the Public Monitors Group Implementing Supervision over the Penitentiary Institutions and Bodies under the Ministry of Justice of RA, the situation at the penitentiary institutions continues to remain worrying. As recorded 112 calls were received from the detainees and 94 visits were made to penitentiary institutions. 9.6% of the reporters complained about the criminal case, 12% of the detainees were concerned over the issues of hunger strike and insufficient storage conditions.

According to the statement of the monitors, inhumane conditions were mainly visible in some of the cells of “Nubarashen” penitentiary institution.

Approximately 48.2 % the half of the detainees’ problems were on healthcare. There was a certain positive tendency in “Sevan” and “Armavir” penitentiaries. At the same time, as recorded by the Monitors Group, the medical care provision is not at the prober level, the medical staff is not fully equipped, the medical centers are allocated in old and unhealthy buildings, and there are no necessary equipment. The monitoring conducted among the detainees state that the detainees with severe sickness are provided with the relevant medicine by their relatives.

Cases of inhumane and degrading treatment were also recorded by the monitoring group. The Ministry of Justice failed to end hierarchic and everyday living by criminal orders. Both some detainees and penitentiary institution employees did not stop using violence against the weak.

It should also be mentioned, that the work of the Public Monitoring Group was not easy as well during 2016. The activities of the Group were not hindered so much within the previous ten year, as it was in 2016.

Hasmik Harutyunyan, the legal expert of the “Protection of Right without Borders” NGO and the member of the Public Monitors Group Implementing Supervision over the Penitentiary Institutions and Bodies under the Ministry of Justice of RA also participated in discussion. She presented the possibilities of the early conditional release and other topics in this regard.

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