United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture concluded today its first visit to the Republic of Armenia. The purpose of the visit, which took place from 3 to 6 September 2013, was to provide advice and technical assistance to the Armenian National Preventive Mechanism (NPM). The NPM is the mechanism for the prevention of torture, in conformity with article 11 of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. During its visit to Armenia, the Subcommittee met with Government officials, non-governmental organizations, United Nations representatives, as well as with the Armenian NPM.
The Subcommittee devoted most part of its visit to a capacity building exercise of the Armenian NPM, through substantive meetings with the Torture and Violence Prevention Division of the Human Rights Defenders Office and the Torture Prevention Expert Council, as well as a number of joint visits to places of deprivation of liberty. UN experts had the opportunity to assess first-hand the needs and current challenges of this Armenian organ for the prevention of torture and ill-treatment.
At the conclusion of the visit, the head of the delegation stated:
“The SPT held working meetings with State authorities, civil society and, particularly, the Armenian NPM, and joined the latter in its visits to several places of detention. The SPT recognizes the steps Armenia has made regarding the prevention of torture, and will advise on measures necessary to further this task. In the adoption of these, the SPT remains available to provide the Republic of Armenia and its National Preventive Mechanism all relevant support and advice”.
The Subcommittee will submit separate, confidential, reports to the Government of the Republic of Armenia and to the Armenian NPM, containing its observations and recommendations arising from the visit.
The SPT delegation to the Republic of Armenia consisted of the following members: Ms. Mari Amos (head of the delegation), Mr. Miguel Sarre Iguiniz, and Mr. Víctor Madrigal-Borloz.