Artak Zeynalyan: Preventing ill-treatment and combating impunity are among the priorities of the Government


Today, Acting Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia Artak Zeynalyan participated in the international conference devoted to the activities that the Human Rights Defender has carried out for torture prevention over the past ten years. The achievements and experience of the National Preventive Mechanism of Armenia over the past ten years were presented and the challenges facing the National Preventive Mechanisms of other countries of the world were discussed during the conference.

Artak Zeynalyan congratulated everyone on the tenth anniversary of the activities of the Human Rights Defender as the National Preventive Mechanism and considered undisputed the fact that the Defender has made his unique contribution in the field of human rights protection in the course of implementation of those activities. The Acting Minister considered noteworthy the fact that the system of rights of persons deprived of liberty has also been a part of those activities, within the scope of which a number of achievements have been recorded, proving that an atmosphere for constructive and human-centric co-operation has been established between the Ministry of Justice and the Human Rights Defender and his Staff, creating a win-win situation for both human beings and humans rights.

The Acting Minister reaffirmed the will of the Government for development and implementation of efficient, productive policy on humans rights protection, as well as assured that prevention of any display of ill-treatment and strengthening of the fight against impunity were priorities. Artak Zeynalyan informed that, within the scope of the main issues concerning torture prevention, it is envisaged to develop a draft legal act providing for amnesty for persons having committed torture, as well as a draft legal act providing for a ban on applying adequate measures leading to impunity for that act; an institution of audio-video recording of interrogations will be introduced, and the mechanism for compensation of victims of torture will be improved.

In this context, the Acting Minister attached importance to the Project that is being jointly implemented by the Council of Europe for the purpose of strengthening healthcare and human rights protection within penitentiary institutions and noted that, within the scope of the Project, special emphasis is placed on the implementation of measures aimed at excluding torture, ill-treatment or degrading treatment in places of deprivation of liberty.

Concluding the speech, Artak Zeynalyan expressed confidence that the Humans Rights Defender, in accordance with his constitutional mission and mandate, would continue to record new achievements in the human rights protection sector and would permanently pretend to be considered as an exceptional example in the international experience.

Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, among other issues, also touched upon the policy dialogue relating to justice, and in relation to this, he specifically stressed Artak Zeynalyan, who launched that efficient dialogue. In this context, the Ambassador also highlighted the position of Strasbourg, according to which, it was possible to record such strategic dialogue as a result of the co-operative work carried out several months ago.

Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Armenia Arman Tatoyan; Prosecutor General of the Republic of Armenia Artur Davtyan; Judge of the European Court of Human Rights from Armenia, former Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Armenia Armen Harutyunyan; Head of the European Regional Team of the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture Mrs. Mari Amos and others gave their opening remarks during the event as well.

Let us mention that representatives from about fifty countries and international organisations came to Armenia to participate in the international conference devoted to the activities that the Human Rights Defender has carried out for torture prevention over the past ten years.