The Human Rights Defender’s Office thoroughly examined a number of advocates’ public statements in regard to the created obstacles in penitentiary institutions. This applies particularly to advocates’ activities with their defendants in criminal cases.
Specifically, based on that information, the penitentiary officers create obstacles in regard to the private conversations between advocates and their defendants, attempted to carry out advocates personal search, examine advocates’ documents and etc. The Human Rights Defender’s Office also received this information from advocate Mushegh Shushanyan.
The Human Rights Defender finds it necessary to record that professional activities of advocates and specifically their activities in penitentiary institutions are subject to a high protection. Legal aid, documents concerning advocate’s secret or information carriers are confidential. They cannot be accessible to penitentiary officers as well. Advocates are protected from search while conducting professional activities. These guarantees are to provide their unimpeded work and complete realization of rights of those who needs legal aid.
Based on the provisions of the Law on the Human Rights Defender, clarifications were requested regarding the issues raised in advocates’ public concerns. While requesting clarifications the standpoint of the RA Chamber of Advocates was taken into consideration. In the framework of this issue the Human Rights Defender’s Office will also cooperate with the advocates who expressed concern on this matter.