After the penitentiary system is transferred from the authority of the RA Ministry of Interior Affairs to that of the Ministry of Justice, the representatives of media and NGOs will have the possibility of regular visits to the investigation cells and reformatory institutions. Such an announcement was made by the Head of the Department of Structural Reforms of the RA Ministry of Justice Nikolay Arustamian, the guest of the round table meeting, organized by “Hakastver” anticorruption NGO at the Yerevan House of Press. According to him, one of the major directions the reforms in this area take is the insurance of transparency of the penitentiary system, and here the cooperation with the media and non-governmental sector is of utmost importance.
Nikolay Arustamian also suggested that a collegial body be created, uniting the representatives of media and NGOs to serve as a link and co-ordinate the interaction with the Ministry. By the way, the journalists made an objection to the announcement of specific visit days for the reformatory institutions: this may become a way to create an outward show; unexpected visits would be much more effective. It appeared that the high-ranked representative of Justice Ministry agreed and proposed to jointly develop the mechanisms for ensuring transparency. At the same time he warned that the meetings of journalists with the prisoners must be sanctioned by the latter ones.
However, the results of the penitentiary reform can be estimated only after October 1 this year, when the penitentiary institutions will be transferred from the authority of the power ministry to that of a civil one.