The Group of Observers met with the detainees having inflicted self-injury in "Nubarashen" Penitentiary

Based on the alert received the previous day the members of the Group of Public Observers Conducting Public Monitoring in Penitentiary Institutions and Bodies of the RA Ministry of Justice paid a visit to "Nubarashen" Penitentiary on January 21, 2017.

Pursuant to the received alert, self-injuries were inflicted by the detainees of #002 cell of "Nubarashen" Penitentiary on January 20, 2017.  According to the alert reporting person, the latter went for the step, since the penitentiary officials, armed with clubs, wanted to access into the cell and forcefully move them to 5th floor to # 89 cell, which according to the persons committing self-harm, was worse than theirs.

It is noteworthy that on January 12, 2017 the group of observers came up with a statement which read that during their visit to "Nubarashen" Penitentiary among other cells the Group studied the conditions of the cells located on the ground floor of the penitentiary, including #002 cell. The group of observers recorded poor state of sanitary-hygienic conditions in the cell, particularly, even with the naked eye a great many cockroaches were noticed that covered in great numbers both the ceiling and walls, as well as boxes containing food(bread).  After the statement disseminated by the Group, the RA Ministry of Justice took a decision to move the detainees on the ground floor to other cells.

During the joint conference held in Media Center on January 20, 2017 attended by the Group of observers and the RA MoJ Department, the RA MoJ Penitentiary Department Deputy Head Hayk Kochinyan stated that the aforementioned celled had been closed, while the detainees were moved to other cells.

During the visit made on January 21, 2017 the observers met with the detainees of the only, still populated #002 cell, who had inflicted self-harm, and the administration of  "Nubarashen" Penitentiary, conducted monitoring in the cell to be hosting the detainees above. According to the representative of the "Nubarashen" Penitentiary administration, the detainees had not complied with the order of being moved to the fifth floor and proceeded to self-harm.

During the private conversation with the observers the self-harming persons informed that no violence had been exerted against them with clubs or in any other form.

The Group of Observers also studied the conditions of #89 cell on the 5th floor, which couldn’t also be considered sufficient, however, no cockroaches were detected in the cell, besides, there was no dampness recorded, nonetheless, the cell needs renovation.  

The self-injuring persons of #002 cell informed that they had turned to the Penitentiary administration to be allowed to renovate the cell by their own funds before being moved to #89 cell.  According to the detainees, they were not given enough time, but the penitentiary officials report they were given the requested timeline for January 13-20.   

On the same day the Group of Observers notified Suren Krmoyan, Deputy Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia, about the created situation through a phone call, in the meantime, passing the photos on the cell conditions. The latter assured that the issue would be given urgent solution.

The Group of Observers will continue keeping the actions directed at the revelation of the incident recorded in "Nubarashen" Penitentiary in the limelight.   

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