During the unannounced visit on 23 July 2006 to the places for
temporary detention in the above-mentioned courts by the Human Rights Defender
of Armenia as a National Prevention Mechanism the following main issues related
to the conditions of detention were revealed:
- There are
very unsatisfactory conditions in the Shirak court of Gyumri.
The cells, that are designed to detain persons deprived of their
liberty, are located in the basement of the court building, where the natural
light transmission is insufficient, and there is no artificial (electric)
lighting inside the cells at all.
Concave holes with concrete covers serve as windows in the cells,
which are equipped with bars and have no glass covers. This is unacceptable,
especially in terms of ensuring a proper thermal regime in the cells in cold
During the visit, the humidity level was high in the cells of
Gyumri residence, there were accumulations of water on the floor. There is an
urgent need for repair, taking into account also that there is no ventilation
system, the floor is temporarily covered with concrete, and the walls of the
cells are cracked which are visible.
• In all court residences, the cell bathrooms are not completely
separated from the living area of the cell, and they do not have doors.
According to official explanations, more than one person can be
kept in a cell, which means that this situation is especially unacceptable,
first of all, in terms of a dignified treatment of a person and the
inviolability of his private life.
It is unacceptable that all the bathrooms are of Asian type.
There are two cells in the Ashtarak residence, whose doors are
complete with open bars, and inside those cells, the bathrooms are located in
such a way that they are clearly visible from the outside of the cell, from the
corridor. This violates the right to dignity and the right to privacy.
This unacceptable situation with court cell bathrooms is
systemic, it was also recorded in connection with other courts (for example,
Hrazdan and Abovyan residences of the Court of First Instance of the Kotayk
province) and was reflected in the reports of the Human Rights Defender.
• One of the cells in the Ashtarak residence does not have a
window, due to which the cell does not have natural light, just as it does not
provide proper ventilation due to the lack of ventilation system in the
• One of the two cells in the Ashtarak residence does not have a
sink, and in each of the cells in Gyumri and Aparan there are sinks, but there
are no water taps.
A plastic bottle is installed in one of the cells of the Gyumri
residence instead of the sink pipe.
• There are no hygienic items in the cells, in particular, there
was no soap in the examined cells. The sanitary paper was available only in the
• All three cells of the Maralik residence, as well as two of
the four cells in the Gyumri residence, are not equipped with benches, in which
there is no furniture at all.
• It was not available in any of the residence cells Necessary
conditions for food intake for the people deprived of their liberty.
• Court Cells and Cell bathrooms are not adapted to the needs of
people with mobility problems. Moreover, the fact that since court buildings
are also not adapted for people with mobility problems, the transfer from the
cells to the courtroom is unacceptable from the point of view of human rights
The conditions of the cells of Maralik and Aparan residences are
better, and their sanitary and hygienic condition and light transparency are
The mentioned problems have been recorded during unannounced
visits on 23 July 2010 by the Human Rights Defender of Armenia as a subdivision
of the National Prevention Mechanism to the Courts of First Instance of Shirak
and Aragatsotn provinces.
During the visits, the conditions of the temporary detention
cells in Gyumri, Maralik, Ashtarak and Aparan residences of the mentioned
courts were checked, as well as private conversations were held with the court
staff and judicial bailiffs.
One of the problems related to the cells of the courts is the
issue of the responsible state body implementing it the transfer of convicts to
court, their accompaniment and protection the issue of a state body
responsible, which is of a systemic nature and is regularly discussed in the
reports of the Human Rights Defender with relevant proposals.
The results of the mentioned visits are currently being
summarized, which will be submitted to the competent state bodies with relevant
A number of pictures of Gyumri (Shirak province), Ashtarak and
Aparan (Aragatsotn province) residences are published with this statement.