The Justice Council of the Open Society Foundations – Armenia presented its opinion related to transferring of the Special Investigation Service function of investigating the torture cases to the Investigative Committee, pointing out the possible risks and concerns of making the relevant changes prescribed by the draft anti-corruption program of the Government.
According to the opinion of the Group, transfering the function of torture examination to the Investigative Committee will create a conflict of interest and will damage the institutional independence of the torture examination and the effeciency. Therefore, the investigation of the torture and other inhumane or ill treatment cases shall be investigated by the Special Investigation Service.
Moreover, in order to raise the effeciency of the fight against torture it is proposed by the civil society organizations to extend the role of the CSOs and strenghthen the independence guarantee. Particularly,
- Establish a seperate department within the Special Investigation Service to carry out opertive investigative activities,
- Ensure the election of the President of the Special Investigation Service by the majority of the Members of the RA Parliament. Moreover, the specialised Council can propose the candidate for the position of the President of the Special Investigation Service, which will be involved in creation and promotion of the list of Special Investigtion Service investigator candidates,
- Record the accountability of the Special Investigation Service through the presentation of annual reports on the activities and the reaised questions to the National Assembly. The Special Investigation Service shall refrain from the direct or indirect supervision of the Government over its activities.
- Ensure the direct and immediate access of the torture victims to the Special Investigation Service.