University of Minnesota

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture, Armenia, U.N. Doc. A/51/44, paras. 84-101 (1996).


Convention Abbreviation: CAT



Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture

E. Armenia

84. The Committee considered the initial report of Armenia (CAT/C/24/Add.4/Rev.1) at its 245th and 246th meetings, on 30 April 1996 (CAT/C/SR.245 and 246), and has adopted the following conclusions and recommendations:

1. Introduction


85. The Committee welcomes the report of Armenia together with its core document (HRI/CORE/1/Add.51) and the valuable oral introduction given by the delegation of the State party.

2. Positive aspects

86. The Committee welcomes the integration of the prohibition against torture in the newly adopted Constitution.

87. Similarly, it welcomes the creation of the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Erevan and the new agreement between Armenia and the International Committee of the Red Cross, which gives the latter the right to visit Armenian prisoners.

88. The Committee is encouraged by the information given to it about the developments in the reform of the Armenian legal system: it seems that high priority is given to human rights.

3. Factors and difficulties impeding the applicationof the provisions of the Convention

89. The Committee is aware of the very difficult economic situation existing in Armenia and of the difficulties involved in its transition from one system of governance to another one that is based on democracy. The Committee also acknowledges the particular consequences of Armenia's unstable border situation.

90. The Committee has taken these matters into consideration in formulating its conclusions and recommendations. However, the Committee emphasizes that the difficult situation of the State party can never provide a justification for failure to comply with its obligations under the Convention.

4. Subjects of concern

91. The Committee is concerned at the fact that Armenia has not considered it appropriate to introduce a specific definition of the crime of torture in its penal legislation.

92. It is not clear whether the provisions of article 2 of the Convention are adequately reflected in the domestic law of Armenia.

93. The Committee is concerned at the fact that it is not clear whether the laws, regulations and practices in Armenia effectively prohibit that a person be sent back to a country where he or she would be in danger of being subjected to torture.

94. The Committee has doubts about the effectiveness of the provisions for the safeguard of persons in police custody.

95. Finally, the Committee is concerned about the number of allegations it has received with regard to ill-treatment perpetrated by public authorities during arrest and police custody.

5. Recommendations

96. The Committee recommends that a definition of torture in conformity with the definition appearing in article 1 of the Convention be inserted into Armenian domestic legislation as a separate type of crime.

97. The Committee emphasizes that orders received from a superior implying the perpetration of an act of torture are illegal and should be sanctioned under criminal law. In addition, they cannot be considered by the person receiving such orders as justification for having committed torture. This should be clearly incorporated into the domestic law.

98. The Committee recommends that legal and practical measures be taken by the Armenian authorities to guarantee that a person be not expelled, returned (refoulé) or extradited to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he or she would be in danger of being subjected to torture.

99. The Committee understands that the Government of Armenia is presently developing the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court; the Committee recommends that the Government consider the possibility of establishing an effective and reliable judicial review of the constitutional rights of those who are illegally detained.

100. The Committee further recommends that Armenian authorities give high priority to the training of personnel enumerated in article 10 of the Convention.

101. The Committee recommends that the allegations of ill-treatment that were brought to its attention be duly investigated and that the result of such investigations be transmitted to the Committee.


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