Photo by hra.am
On March 13, 2013 Study on Ill-treatment and Torture against Juveniles in the Republic of Armenia was presented in Yerevan. The study was conducted by Civil Society Institute NGO in cooperation with the Office of Human Rights Defender and funded by UNICEF and Penal Reform International.
“Torture is graver crime than the crime for investigating of which torture is applied”, said Civil Society Institute President Arman Danielyan in his opening speech.
UNICEF Armenia representative Henriette Ahrens stressed in her speech the importance of the compliance of the juvenile justice system and legal framework of the country to international principles.
“However, improvements in the policy and legal frameworks are not sufficient to ensure the protection of children of ill-treatment. It is required to set-up effective mechanism to support victims with the involvement of representatives of the Police and justice system as well as social workers and psychologists”, stressed out Ahrens.
According to her, independent investigation of torture and ill-treatment cases and establishment of the effective complaint mechanisms are crucial for child rights protection.
The study has revealed violations of the rights of juveniles committed in course of pre-trial investigation and court proceeding, as well as against juveniles deprived of their liberty.
86 juveniles in conflict with law were interviewed, 21 % of them were not informed about the reasons for their arrest, 31 % was not notified about their rights and 60 % of the interviewees were interrogated at the police in absence of a defense lawyer. 32% believes their verdicts are not fair.
8 of the interviewed juveniles stated that they had been subjected to physical violence at the police station.