In the frame of Civic Solidarity Platform's Working Group on the Fight against Torture, Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor Office - coordinated by Public Verdict Foundation - has prepared a review on the situation of the prohibition of torture in Armenia and presents summary information on the situation.
The review touches upon legislative regulations and statistics of investigation into cases of torture, presents problems by separate cases, identifies the main factors hindering the implementation of the prohibition of torture and presents recommendations.
The full review and the relevant recommendations are available HERE.
In order to ensure prohibition of torture in practice, it is necessary to focus efforts on the following directions:
1. Establish a prohibition on the use of statute of limitations and amnesty for torture crimes.
2. Establish criminal liability for cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
3. Expand the list of corpus delicti of torture, envisaging persons working, ex officio, in psychiatric institutions.
4. Ensure effective investigation into reports on torture and cases initiated based on them.
5. Develop sample forms of documentation of torture and other curel, inhuman or degrading treatment in line with the standards of the Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; and use them in closed, semi-closed institutions.
6. In defense of the victim’s rights, amend the procedure of distrubution of the burden of proving the existence of the violation of a right in cases of claiming compensation for non-pecuniary damage.
7. Eliminate one-year statute of limitations for presenting a claim for compensation for damage.
8. Introduce psychological rehabilitation mechanisms for torture survivors, and if necessary, safeguards to ensure effective security measures for victims and witnesses, their family members.
9. Under Article 1087.3 of the RA Civil Code, also envisage the right to compensation for inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
10. Envisage that the right to compensation and rehabilitation of persons subjected to torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment is in place since the moment when the criminal case proceedings are suspended.
11. By the RA Government’s decision N 1367-Ն of 26․10․ 2017, envisage the right to rehabilitation, at the expense of the state, for the person subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, as well as for that person’s relatives.
The review (authored by Ofelya Zalyan) was prepared by Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor Office under the coordination of Public Verdict Foundation (coordinator - Taubina Natalia, Editor - Novikova Asmik), in the frame of Civic Solidarity Platform's Working Group on the Fight against Torture. The activity of the Working Group is implemented in the frame of the Platform’s project “Strengthening civil society cooperation in the OSCE region: promotion of human rights protection - strengthening the impact, its resilience and capacity”, the administrator of which is the German-Russian Exchange.