Torture in  [Armenia]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Armenia]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Armenia]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Armenia]  [other countries]

Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                               Armenia.htm

Republic of Armenia

Since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Armenia has made progress in implementing many economic reforms including privatization, price reforms, and prudent fiscal policies.

Armenia has managed to reduce poverty, slash inflation, stabilize its currency, and privatize most small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Despite strong economic growth, Armenia's unemployment rate remains high. Armenia will need to pursue additional economic reforms in order to improve its economic competitiveness and to build on recent improvements in poverty and unemployment, especially given its economic isolation from two of its nearest neighbors, Turkey and Azerbaijan.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Armenia

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Armenia.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

*** ARCHIVES ***

Human rights activist: Ill-treatment, torture continue in Armenia, 28 November 2018

[accessed 1 December 2, 2018]

The studies conducted by both local and international organizations reveal continuous ill-treatment and torture cases in Armenia, human rights activist Avetik Ishkhanyan said at the conference on the Human Rights Defender’s 10 years of activity in torture prevention launched in Yerevan on Wednesday.

Ishkhanyan, who heads the Helsinki Committee of Armenia NGO, stressed the situation in police has always raised concerns.

Human Rights Watch World Report 2015 - Events of 2014

Human Rights Watch, 29 January 2015 or download PDF at

[accessed 18 March 2015]


TORTURE AND ILL-TREATMENT IN CUSTODY - Local human rights activists report the continued use of torture and ill-treatment in custody, including in police stations and pretrial detention to coerce confessions, as well as in prisons and other facilities. Some victims file complaints; many decline, fearing retaliation and further ill-treatment. The authorities do not always conduct thorough and impartial investigations.

According to the Armenian Helsinki Association, authorities have refused to investigate credible allegations that Yerevan police beat, pulled the hair of, and threatened to harm relatives of Aik Agamalyan, 16, to coerce a confession to an April 2013 murder. Agamalyan’s trial was ongoing at time of writing. Similarly, authorities and a Vanadzor court have refused to act on complaints by Karen Kurngurtsev that police ill-treated him after detaining him in October 2013 on murder charges. Kurngurtsev denies the charges; his trial was ongoing at time of writing.

After an April 4 visit, a public prison monitoring group reported that two inmates at the Artik Penitentiary alleged Gyumri police had ill-treated them in separate incidents to force confessions, including with beatings, kicking, and threats of rape. The investigation was ongoing at time of writing.

On June 12, police detained and beat Hayk Kyureghyan, who demonstrated outside a Yerevan court to support Harutyunyan and other activists on trial. After extensive media coverage of Kyureghyan’s allegations of ill-treatment, authorities opened an investigation, which was pending at time of writing.

The state of the world's human rights

Amnesty International AI, Annual Report 2012

[accessed 14 Jan 2014]

TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT - Torture and other ill-treatment remained a concern. In a report published in February, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention stated that many of the detainees and prisoners they interviewed had been subjected to ill-treatment and beatings in police stations. Police and investigators used ill-treatment to obtain confessions, and prosecutors and judges frequently refused to admit evidence of ill-treatment during court proceedings.

In August, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture reported that it had received a significant number of credible allegations of ill-treatment, some amounting to torture, by police during initial interviews.

Steps were taken during the year to establish a National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) – an independent body to monitor places of detention – in line with Armenia’s obligations under the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture. A Torture Prevention Expert Council was set up within the Human Rights Defender’s Office to act as the NPM, and the composition and guidelines for the NPM were discussed with NGOs and experts and approved. Recruitment for the NPM began in October.

On 9 August, seven young opposition activists detained following a clash with police alleged that they were beaten and ill-treated while in police custody. The activists were reportedly beaten up and detained after they tried to intervene as police officers were searching another man. The activists circulated internet images described as being taken by themselves on their mobile phones, showing some of them with visible injuries on their faces and backs. All seven were charged with hooliganism and assault on state officials, but six were later released on bail. There had been no investigation into the allegations of police ill-treatment by the end of the year.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 16 January 2013]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – The law prohibits such practices, although government security forces employed them. Witnesses continued to report numerous cases of police beating citizens during arrest and interrogation while in detention. Most cases of police brutality went unreported because of fear of retribution. Human rights nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) also reported claims that police beat detainees during pretrial detention.

The law allows detainees to file complaints prior to trial to address alleged abuses committed by authorities during criminal investigations. Detainees must obtain permission from the police or the prosecutor's office to obtain a forensic medical examination to substantiate a report of torture. According to Human Rights NGOs, however, authorities rarely granted permission for forensic medical examinations and, by years end, there were no convictions for torture.

The government reported that 49 police officers received administrative fines and two others faced criminal charges for their roles in 35 cases involving police brutality.

In November police reportedly beat opposition supporters detained briefly following the marred constitutional referendum.

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 6   Civil Liberties: 4   Status: Partly Free

2009 Edition

[accessed 16 January 2013]

The judicial branch is subject to political pressure from the executive branch and suffers from considerable corruption. Police make arbitrary arrests without warrants, beat detainees during arrest and interrogation, and use torture to extract confessions. Cases of abuse go unreported out of fear of retribution.

Human Rights Overview

Human Rights Watch

[accessed 16 January 2013]

More than three years after street clashes between police and opposition protesters turned deadly, meaningful accountability for the excessive use of force by law enforcement remains remote.  Armenia decriminalized libel in May 2010, but amendments to the civil code introduced high monetary fines for libel and led to an increase in lawsuits against newspapers, particularly by public officials. In some cases the excessive damages awarded by courts threaten the survival of newspapers.  Authorities continue to restrict freedom of assembly. Torture and ill-treatment in police custody persist, and the government has failed to effectively investigate a troubling number of deaths in custody, as well as non-combat deaths in the military.

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights OHCHR -- U.N. Doc. A/56/44, paras. 33-39 (2000)

[accessed 21 February 2013]


(a) The fact that the draft Penal Code does not include some aspects of the definition of torture contained in article 1 of the Convention;

(b) The fact that the rights of persons deprived of liberty are not always respected;

(c) The existence of a regime of criminal responsibility for judges who commit errors in their sentences on conviction, since it might weaken the judiciary;

(d) The lack of effective compensation for victims of acts of torture committed by government officials in contravention of the provisions of article 14 of the Convention;

(e) Poor prison conditions and the fact that prisons come under the authority of the Ministry of the Interior;

(f) The ongoing practice of hazing ("dedovshchina") in the military, which has led to abuses and violations of the relevant provisions of the Convention. This practice also has a devastating effect on victims and may sometimes even lead to their suicide.

38. The Committee notes with concern that the State party has not taken account in its second periodic report of the recommendations the Committee made in connection with the initial report of Armenia in April 1996. In particular, it has not communicated the results of the inquiry on the allegations of ill-treatment that were brought to the Committee's attention.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES. 

Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, " Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Armenia",, [accessed <date>]



Torture in  [Armenia]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Armenia]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Armenia]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Armenia]  [other countries]