During the visit to the RA MoJ “Nubarashen” Penitentiary on December 13, 2016 the members of the Group of Public Observers Conducting Public Monitoring in Penitentiary Institutions and Bodies of the RA Ministry of Justice, among other cells have studied the conditions of one of the cells located on the ground floor of the penitentiary. The group of observers have recorded poor state of sanitary-hygienic conditions in #N cell, particularly, even with the naked eye a great many cockroaches were noticed that covered in great numbers both the ceiling and walls, as well as boxes containing food(bread).
Apart from the insects, other issues were also present: the cell air humidity was obviously high, there was no air ventilation, since upon opening the window water from outside penetrated into the cell due to being located below the level of the ground. The high level of humidity had caused mould grown on the walls of the cell. The bedding items were also damp. As a result of the window position and the cell’s semi-basement status, the cell illumination was also insufficient. Besides, wastewater discharge was also recorded immediately adjacent to the cell, as a result of which, the sewage stench constantly present in the penitentiary ground floor was too strong. Overall, the cell conditions were miserable, by assessing the full picture, according to the observers keeping the detainees in such conditions were equal to inhuman treatment. On December 13, 2016 the Group of Observers sent an urgent report to the RA Ministry of Justice proposing to undertake urgent measures directed at the improvement of the detention conditions of the detainees kept in inhuman conditions in #N cell, or immediately relocate them to other penitentiaries or another cell in “Nubarashen” Penitentiary. Besides, taking into account the general condition of the cell, it was suggested to stop placing detainees there.
As of January 12, 2017 the Group has not yet received a response from the Ministry of Justice regarding the raised issue, given the fact that the comments to the urgent report shall be issued within three days.
Group of Public Observers Conducting Public Monitoring in Penitentiary Institutions and Bodies of the RA Ministry of Justice