On December 6 the extended session of the Expert Council on Prevention of Torture adjunct to the Defender was held in which representatives from the RA Ministry of Justice, Investigative Service of the RA Ministry of Justice, RA General Prosecution, RA Investigative Committee, RA Special Investigative Service and a number of NGOs participated.
During the discussion the Deputy Minister of the RA Ministry of Justice Suren Qrmoyan presented the legislative reforms on the early conditional release in the Republic of Armenia aimed at solving current practical and legislative issues. Particularly, the Independent Commission during the consideration of an early conditional release does not ensure prisoners’ right to be heard, right to legal aid, right to an appeal and other fundamental rights.
Special attention was given to the suicide cases at the places of deprivation of liberty in Armenia, statistical data related to those cases, as well as to the preventive measures that are being undertaken and yet to be done. It was noted that special work should be conducted by the social-psychologists with the persons who pose the risks of self-harm and suicide from the very first day of deprivation of liberty, concrete steps should be taken towards the revealing of the causes of self-harm and preventing it.
A number of legislative issues identified by the RA Human Right Defender while exercising his powers as a national preventive mechanism (NPM) and mechanisms for their solutions were presented. In particular, within the discussion the transfer of convicted persons from one penitentiary institution to another for ensuring the contact with their relatives, the legislative limitations on providing short-term leaves to convicted and detained persons, as well as the lack of legislative regulations on providing identification documents to detainees have been discussed.
At the end of the session the recommendations, observations and opinions of the participants were summed up and, as agreed, will be submitted to the Ministry of Justice for the legislative amendments and further improvement of the enforcement practice.