A total of 58 prisoners have been released from various prisons of Armenia after a state of exception (emergency) was declared in Armenia on April 14, informs head of Public Relations department of Corrections Institutions in a response to “PastInfo“ inquiry. 31 prisoners were released between March 16 and 31, while another 18 were released by April 5. The terms of their release and containment are individual and different from one another.
Armenian prisons continue to remain largely overpopulated and in horrible sanitary and health conditions.
The Council of Europe Committee to Prevent Torture and Inhuman Treatment or Punishment had earlier released a recommendation to member states to revisit containment measures for persons kept in custody given the coronavirus pandemic. A similar statement was released by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet.
This comes as early in April several staff members of Yerevan “Vardashen” prison tested positive for COVID-19. The administration of “Vardashen” claims that the job of these staff did not imply contact with prison inmates and all other staff members in contact with them have been isolated.