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August 21
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The unsatisfactory level of medical services remains the major issue at Armenia’s penitentiary institutions. This is what Armenia’s Ombudsman Arman Tatoyan said during a press conference today.

According to him, the level of independence of medical personnel is a major issue and is the result of lack of confidence in doctors at penitentiary institutions. “This is a systemic issue. For years, doctors at penitentiary institutions have been viewed as people wearing “shoulder straps”, not doctors,” Tatoyan noted.

The Ombudsman recalled that a penitentiary medical center was established upon a government decision last year, but it is necessary to mobilize the center. According to Tatoyan, another problem is the insufficiency of specialists and their lack of preparedness and, in some penitentiary institutions, the lack of doctors.

Tatoyan is certain that the issue of overcrowdedness can be solved systematically through tests, as well as through the introduction of an effective system of release on parole. He also noted that there is still a criminal subculture at penitentiary institutions that can still cause problems from the perspective of human rights protection.

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