More Alleged Prisoner Abuse

This report is unverified, so scale the level of doubt accordingly. Hetq is reporting on a letter written to them by prisoner Arman Davtyan, who says he will take his life if the letter is not published. In the letter, he says that prison officials broke his fingers, shocked him, and assaulted him, his wife and friends. All for the purpose of making him plead guilty. Because of the severity of these claims, the Department of Justice or the Human Rights Ombudsman must act immediately to investigate them.

To provide some context, this type of torture is becoming more and more uncommon in Armenia. In Armenia’s July 2012 review by the Human Rights Committee, in its concluding observations, it discussed issues of excessive pre-trial detention (Para. 19), overcrowding of prisons (Para. 20) and the absence of a genuine complaints mechanism if abuse occurs in detention (Para. 14), but never mentions a systemic problem of actual acts of torture. Admittedly, one issue the Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office has fought against is the practice of police calling suspects into the police station and beating them until they confess.

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