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Saturday, July 02, 2005


Group suggests reforms in Armenia's prisons

From Radio Free Europe:

An independent monitoring group comprised of representatives of a dozen NGOs and the Armenian Apostolic Church issued a report on 30 June calling on the Armenian government to address the "unsatisfactory" conditions in the country's penal institutions, RFE/RL's Yerevan bureau reported. The report, based on a yearlong series of inspections of Armenian prisons, found that prisoners are forced to endure overcrowding and often deplorable living conditions, including inadequate food, water, and lighting, and an overall lack of proper sanitation. Oversight and management of Armenian prisons were transferred from the jurisdiction of the police to the Justice Ministry in 2002 in accordance with the recommendations of the Council of Europe. A Justice Ministry official responsible for penal conditions, Samvel Hovannisian, noted that the report's findings were generally accurate but explained that the Armenian government lacks the necessary funding needed to introduce serious improvements in living conditions.

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