The Problems of Imprisoned Women in Armenia
In Armenia every eighth out of ten imprisoned women is a mother, and these women face problems with seeing their children. Imprisonment has a worse impact on women than on men. 80% of imprisoned women face psychic disorders; they are more frequently stigmatized than men. Besides, husbands of imprisoned women pay them less visits in places of detention than women do.

The members of  Protection of Rights without Border NGO are convinced that other measures should be applies in treatment of  women in prison.

“The practice of alternative prison service towards women prisoners should be applied in Armenia,” said Haykuhi Harutyunyan, a lawyer and the President of the Protection of Rights without Border NGO today during the discussions held in Media Center.

Lawyer Tigran Safaryan believes that certain limitations of punishment which are applied in case of delinquent juveniles, can also be applied in case of women. Currently exceptions are made only for pregnant women and those with children of up to three-year-old. “Nowadays women in Armenia are treated equally in the matters of sentencing whereas at least the maximum period of detainment for women should be reviewed ,” said Safaryan.

In compliance with 65/229 UN Resolution of 2010, a line of rules of International Penal Reforms were developed which envisage legislative improvements in the imprisonment rights of men and women, as well as i diversification in their detainment conditions.

Safaryan says that no special conditions for women prisoners exist in places of detainment in Armenia, even in marzes. He also added that the main prison staff is also comprised of men.

Starting from January 2014, the members of Protection of Rights without Border NGO will visit “Aboyan” penitentiary to observe and assess on site to which extent the rights of imprisoned women are protected in suchlike places. They will also monitor those court cases that women prisoners are held in.

During the discussions Avetik Mejlumyan, the Head of Monitoring and Sociological Studies Department of the NGO called on the audience to keep them informed of all those cases in which women prisoners are held since the DataLex judiciary informative portal doesn’t allow conducting diversified searches through the system.

Based on the results of the monitoring of penitentiaries and legal acts the NGO is going to summarize the overall situation with regard to women in custody after which it will undertake legislative modifications aimed at improvement of treatment conditions of imprisoned women and facilitation of applying alternative sentencing policy towards women.

On December 20 Media Center hosted a discussion entitled “Rights of Imprisoned Women in Armenia” held by Protection of Rights without Border NGO. Speakers included: Haykuhi Harutyunyan, the President of Protection of Rights without Border NGO, Avetik Mejlumyan, lawyer and the Head of the Monitoring and Sociological Studies Department of Protection of Rights without Border NGO, and by Tigran Safaryan, lawyer. 

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