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.
Based in London, we are an informal group dedicated to supporting democracy and human rights throughout
the former Soviet Union. Our aims are:
Informing the public about issues in this area that receive little coverage in the Western media.
Staging peaceful demonstrations and letter-writing campaigns in support of specific causes.
Supporting and publicising nonviolent pro-democracy groups throughout the region.
Encouraging European and American involvement.
Support the Belarusian cartoonists
Third Way, the Belarusian organisation whose members are being prosecuted for producing satirical cartoons about Lukashenka,
have set up a web page where you can make a donation via PayPal. The group urgently
need money for their legal defence and operating expenses. Please give what you can today! Read more
We are continuing to focus our efforts on the Belarusian prisoner of conscience Mikhail Marinich.
We are campaigning for him to receive proper medical treatment, to be permitted to see his family,
and ultimately to be released from prison pending a review of his case. You can help by distributing
our factsheets and letters.
Members of these groups have joined our blog to share their views and experiences.