On December 10, the International Day of Human Rights, “Versus” Studio held a presentation of a book titled “The Literature of Confinement Institutions”. During the presentation this journalistic NGO also announced the results of the competition for the best print and TV stories on the subject of “The Return of Prisoners to the Society”, homonymous with the program implemented by “Versus” Studio with the support of Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation-Armenia.
The book “Literature of Confinement Institutions” represents poetry, prose and publicist works of 22 former and present prisoners. By the suggestion of “Versus” Studio, several literature editions of Armenia chose their own awardees among the authors and granted them special prizes.
In the competition for best stories on the subject of “The Return of the Prisoners to the Society” the jury awarded the first prize to medical doctor Vahan Haroutiunian for the articles published in “Haikakan Zhamanak” daily: “In Confinement Institutions Even Breathing Is for Money” (26.09.2001) and “Quo Vadis, Armenia?” (13.07.2001).
The second prizes were granted to two journalists, Ruzan Minasian (“Aravot” daily) and Armineh Ohanian (“Haikakan Zhamanak”), for the articles on legal and court issues, published in these dailies.
The third prize was awarded to journalist Lusine Vahramian for the article published in “Novoye Vremya” newspaper: “We Are Not Saints But We, Too, Are Human”(30.06.2001).
The seven encouragement prizes were awarded to:
Journalist Sasun Mamian – for articles on the legal and court issues, published in “Hayastani Hanrapetutiun” daily.
Lawyer Tigran Levonian – for the articles published in “Aravot”: “The Prisoner Is Vulnerable Even When Free” (07.06.2001), “Arrest and Bail” (15.06.2001), “The Rights of Armenian Prisoners to Hygiene” (19.07.2001).
Student Perch Hakobian – for the article published in “Kumayri” newspaper: “The Return of Prisoners to Society” (20-26.09.2001).
Pavel Sargsian – for the article published in “Husastgh” newspaper: “The Punishment Must Correspond to the Offense. By the Eyes of a Convict” (20.09.2001).
“Tsayg” TV company of Gyumri – for “And They Returned…” TV film, author – Vahe Papoyan, director – Ashot Isahakian, cameramen – Vardan Manukian, Armen Serobian.
“Mshakuyt” production group of the Public Television of Armenia for “The Fate of A Man” TV program, author – Seda Sahakian, director – Arpineh Tatintsian, cameraman – Vardan Abelian.
Photojournalist German Avagian – for the coverage of the subject.
A special prize, by the decision of the jury, was awarded to journalist Margo Ghukasian, the first to raise the subject of confinement institutions in the Armenian media in the Soviet times already, having published a story “100 Extraordinary Essays, or Why I Have Become a Criminal” in “Garoun” magazine.