Arbitrary detention: UN expert body launches mission to Armenia

YEREVAN – The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention started Monday a visit to the Republic of Armenia, during which it will study the institutional and legal framework regarding deprivation of liberty in the country, and inspect places of detention. The mission will take place from 6 to 15 September, at the invitation of the Government.

The Working Group will meet with senior authorities from the Executive, the Legislative and the Judicial branches of the State. Meetings will also be held with the Human Rights Defender (Ombudsman), representatives of the Bar Association, civil society members and officials of United Nations agencies and international organizations.

The Working Group will visit various places of detention, including Nubarashen prison; Kentron Detention Centre; Erebuni prison; the military detention centre in Yerevan; Vardashen prison; Artik Correction Facility; Abovyan prisons for women and juveniles; Goris prison; Sevan and Vanadzor Psychiatric Hospitals and police stations.

The delegation is headed by Mr. El Hadji Malick Sow (from Senegal), the Working Group`s Chair-Rapporteur, and will include Mr. Mads Andenas (from Norway) and members of its Geneva-based Secretariat.

A press conference on the initial findings of the Working Group will be held in Yerevan on Wednesday, 15 September, at 4.00 p.m, at the United Nations House, 14 Petros Adamyan Street. A final report on the visit will be presented to the Human Rights Council in 2011.