The Ministry of Justice responds to letters about imprisoned persons selectively17:59, March 14, 2018 | News, Own news | Detention Facilities
The RA Ministry of Justice responds to the letters about imprisoned persons sent by Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor Office only to the extent that it finds suitable.
On November 8, 2017, on the basis of Vanadzor PI prisoner E. Y.’s application, HCA Vanadzor turned to the RA Ministry of Justice and informed that the prisoner complained about the conditions in the cell which had a negative effect on E. Y.’s health and about the quality of the food provided in the PI.
The RA Ministry of Justice responded to the letter only three months later, on February 1, 2018. Incidentally, despite the content of the questions raised in the letter, it was the head of the Medical Services Division of the RA MoJ Penitentiary Department who replied to the letter and mentioned the examinations and treatment that the prisoner had undergone.
Even in this case, the letter did not even mention the impact that the conditions in the cell had on the prisoner’s health. As regards the questions on the quality of the food in the cell, the head of the Medical Services Division could not even address them.
With this step, the ministry attempted to avoid the raised questions.
The same behavior was demonstrated with regard to the case of prisoner E. T., who was transferred from Nubarashen PI to Armavi PI.
His representative Arayik Zalyan, who is an advocate at HCA Vanadzor, turned to the ministry yet on December 25, 2017 and requested to transfer the convict held in the quarantine cell for longer than the established period to the common building and to provide him with the necessary medicine.
Deputy Head of the RA MoJ Penitentiary Department A. Hambardzumyan replied to the letter on January 15, 2018 and again addressed only the convict’s state of health, mentioning that he did not need any treatment.
Taking into consideration that in both cases the Ministry of Justice gave evasive answers and in fact did not reply to all the questions raised in the letters, on February 12, 2018 HCA Vanadzor turned to RA Minister of Justice D. Harutyunyan in connection with providing comprehensive information on the questions raised in the letters, transferring convict E. T. from the quarantine cell to the common building and holding liable the officials who had conducted an ineffective investigation in regard to the letters submitted.
In the response dated February 23, 2018, First Deputy Head of the RA MoJ Penitentiary Department A. Afrikyan informed that the convict was being held in the quarantine cell “for security reasons.”
HCA Vanadzor’s demand about providing comprehensive information on the questions raised in the two previous letters and holding liable the officials who had conducted an ineffective investigation was ignored again.
These questions have not been addressed at all in the response by the first deputy head of the Penitentiary Department.