Suren Krmoyan discusses with Dutch colleagues issues related to human rights protection in the spheres of rule of law and criminal punishments


Today, Deputy Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia Suren Krmoyan received the delegation led by Executive Director of the Netherlands Helsinki Committee Pepijn Gerrits. A number of issues related to human rights protection, rule of law, the introduction of alternative punishments and particularly the capacity-building of the Probation Service were discussed during the working meeting. Suren Krmoyan greeted the Dutch colleagues, noted that the full application and development of the Probation Service is always in the focus of the Ministry of Justice and added that it is one of the priorities of the new Programme of the Government. Deputy Minister Krmoyan presented the reforms that are planned and under implementation in the criminal justice sector and are related to the conditions for keeping convicts and probation beneficiaries, the ensuring of their health and their employment. In this context, what was particularly presented was the package of complex programmes carried out at "Abovyan" Penitentiary Institution; the package of complex programmes also ensures continuity of the programmes in the future. During the discussion, the Deputy Minister of Justice also emphasised the importance of the development and introduction of systematic anti-corruption programmes. Talking about the alternative methods for execution of punishments, Krmoyan also touched upon the enlargement of opportunities for serving punishments outside places of imprisonment, i.e. the application of electronic handcuffs.

Head of the delegation Pepijn Gerrits expressed gratitude for the reception and attached importance to the consideration of major issues in the professional field such as human rights protection and rule of law, the solutions to the problems existing in the alternative punishments sector and the activities targeted at development of the sector. Pepijn Gerrits presented the training programme of the Netherlands Helsinki Committee regarding rule of law in which Armenia is also included. Within the scope of the interactive lessons, the participants of the training programme will have the opportunity to receive theoretical knowledge, enhance their practical skills and participate in cognitive visits. The lessons will mainly be devoted to the processes of integration of civil servants, human rights protection, media freedom, the introduction of alternative punishments, etc.

Among the members of the delegation were Deputy Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Armenia Loes Lamerts; Programme Manager of the Netherlands Helsinki Committee Koen Goei; Community Based Justice Advisor of the Netherlands, expert of the Dutch Probation Service Leo Tigges and others.