THE UNICEF in cooperation with the European Union, the Human rights Defender’s Office, Civil society Institute and International Prison Reform Organization presented a research of brutal treatment and tortures of juveniles in Armenia in the context of juvenile justice.
Not disputing the impartiality of the laborious and costly (about 1.5 million euros worth) studies of the authoritative organizations and the good will of the researchers, nevertheless, a number of clauses and provisions of the document, which record cases of brutal treatment and torture of the juvenile in Armenia, cases of serious infringements of their rights in the police, raise doubts and cause astonishment.
The impression is that the issue is not today's Republic of Armenia. With current freedom of speech, information society, transparent and public police activities, it becomes impossible to imagine that the juvenile can deal with police officers without a parent’s or lawyer’s intervention or public defender’s presence.
The police chief has announced the exclusion of violence as the main principle of the police and as a result of official examinations, a number of policemen were hold criminally liable for suchlike or other violations of official functions, nevertheless, it is noted in the report that the interviews conducted with juveniles revealed that the most widespread types of brutal treatment are the physical oppression and beating applied to extort a confession. Moreover, it is mentioned in the report that the in organs of preliminary investigation even children’s fingers were stuck in the door or they were threatened with a pistol to give a confession. Formulations, which to put it mildly, raise doubts: so many illegalities and no statement of complaint? No intervention by the Human rights Defender’s office, different human rights structures, public organizations? Is it possible or imaginable? ...
A few facts, which we think should give the authoritative organizations, which, being «concerned» with juvenile issues, made the report, a reason to make conclusions.
About 400 juveniles committed offences during 2012, 15 of them serve the sentence in criminal-executive establishments, altogether15, and the rest of them are at home and recovery works are being carried out with them in community recovery centers, which were established on the initiative of the police.
In Special investigation services no criminal case was instituted in connection with brutal treatment of a juvenile by policemen during the past 3 years. Thus, there was no fact. And there couldn’t be one, as only during the current year the police have undertaken more than 100 various measures with juveniles.
Moreover, just a few days ago under the order of the Police chief a children’s rights defense and family violence combating special subdivision, which has a status of a department, was established.
Despite of all this, the report makers declare facts allegedly revealed as a result of an anonymous inquiry as an absolute truth, insisting on the fact that in our country during the years of 2010, 2011, 2012 juveniles were subjected tortures, agony, and were humiliated by police officers and investigators, and moreover, their rights were periodically violated, while the all-seeing experts of the Human rights defender’s office and Media, various human rights structures passed over those cases or they have all been looking forward to the promulgation of this report on February 13.
Really, let’s agree that this is somewhat strange and leaves an impression of oratory and not sound studies or reliable conclusions.
The police of the Republic of Armenia see the solution of this problem in another area. The problem should be studied, revealed and solved instead of being declared.
The police of the Republic of Armenia again assure that they are firm enough in making their activities transparent, accessible and public, in strengthening the supremacy of law, in defending citizens’, especially children’s rights and freedoms by fully performing their official duties.
Therefore the police of the Republic of Armenia express their readiness to cooperate with the report makers to jointly and publicly study all the examples of brutal treatment and torture of juveniles cited in the document, to reveal all the facts as a result of impartial studies and punish the guilty persons by the entire strictness of the law in case such facts are proved.
We expect an adequate reaction and effective collaboration, otherwise we will have to think that the measures aimed at studying the issues raised by authoritative international structures aren’t applied objectively enough.