Armenia urged to implement human rights commitments

Society Institute (CSI), the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) and the
International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) have submitted a
mid-term assessment
 (May 2010–December 2012) following recommendations by the United Nations Human Rights Council at Armenia’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in May 2010.

The assessment provides
information on Armenia’s legal system and state practice, as discerned
through recent monitoring activities undertaken by CSI and FIDH in
cooperation with NHC on issues like the right to an effective remedy,
judicial independence, the right to a fair trial, the prohibition of
torture and ill-treatment, the penitentiary system and juvenile justice.

Armenian authorities have taken some steps to amend national
legislation, such as drafting a new Criminal Procedure Code, introducing
some amendments to the Criminal Code, and developing programmes and
policies for judicial reform; however, in practice Armenia has not made
real progress in fulfilling its human rights obligations.

routine use of torture and ill-treatment, especially in police custody,
continues unabated. Victims of torture do not file official complaints
fearing retaliation, and perpetrators are not held accountable for such
acts. The definition of torture in the Criminal Code falls short of the
requirements of the United Nations Convention against Torture (UN CAT).
On the rare occasion that cases have been reported, no thorough,
independent or effective investigations have been conducted. The courts
continue to accept evidence obtained using alleged torture and
ill-treatment. Victims of torture and other human rights violations lack
access to effective remedies.

of judicial independence remains one of the most serious concerns in
Armenia. In many cases the judiciary fails to comply with the guarantees
of fair trial standards, envisaged both in international and national
legislation. Courts continue to show prosecutorial bias, violating the
principles of presumption of innocence, equality of arms and the
adversarial nature of proceedings.

date, neither a system of juvenile justice nor appropriate
specialization among prosecutors, lawyers and investigators working with
juveniles have been introduced in Armenia. Custodial measures are
widely applied to juveniles.

progress has been made on penitentiary reform. Penitentiary
institutions in Armenia remain overcrowded and living conditions have
not improved. No inmate rehabilitation programmes have been implemented

CSI, NHC and FIDH call upon the Armenian authorities to redouble their efforts to implement the recommendations and voluntary pledges explicitly undertaken by Armenia during its Universal Periodic Review in 2010.

Assessment (May 2010 – December 2012) of implementation of
recommendations accepted by Armenia during its Universal Periodic Review
prepared by CSI, NHC and FIDH, Armenian and English versions.


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