03.03.2022 | Criminal cases of torture and ill-treatment in police departments and other bodies in 2021 were increased

In cases of illegal detention of citizens in police stations and other bodies, deprivation of their de facto freedom, torture, other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment, as well as other alleged violations of human rights by officials, on the grounds of crimes provided for in Article 309.1, part 2 of Article 309 and Article 304 of the RA Criminal Code, 156 criminal cases were considered, which compared to 2020 is more by about 10%, from which 64 cases were terminated (80 in 2020), 31 cases were suspended on the grounds that the accused was not found out. From the investigated criminal cases on the crime of specific torture in 2021, a criminal case was initiated against one person.


The decisions to terminate the proceedings were largely due to the fact that the perpetrators of numerous crimes filed numerous complaints about the use of physical or psychological force against them in order to defend themselves from charges. Based on the results of the preliminary investigation of the criminal cases investigated on the fact of the use of torture, 3 criminal cases were initiated on various parts of Article 333 of the RA Criminal Code, 2 of which were sent to court against 2 persons along with indictments.


In order to conduct a prompt, impartial, thorough and effective investigation into allegations of torture, ill-treatment, the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Armenia, back in 2020, instructed the structural divisions of the Prosecutor’s Office to immediately, but not later than within 24 hours, send complaints and statements of victims of torture to the RA Prosecutor General 's Office to discuss the issue of sending them to the RA Special Investigation Service (now the RA NSS).


The completeness, objectivity and comprehensiveness of the investigation of these criminal cases are ensured under the conditions of proper prosecutorial control. The emphasis was placed on the development of judicial practice of torture.


In addition, the RA Court of Cassation satisfied the complaint of the RA Prosecutor's Office by the case of "Virabyan vs. Armenia" on the basis of non-applying the statute of limitations for criminal liability for torture. The Court of Cassation applied to the European Court of Human Rights for an advisory opinion. Before the European Court, the Chamber for Criminal Cases of the Court of Cassation of the Republic of Armenia raised the issue of non-compliance with the requirements of Article 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights regarding the non-application of the limitation period.


With a view to resolve some problems related to the prevention of torture of citizens in police stations, the RA Prosecutor General's Office also came up with specific initiatives.