The untouchables of penitentiary facilities: the one who communicates with homosexuals finds himself in the same situation. Report

prisonIn penitentiary facilities homosexuals are utilized for the most insulting activities. No one communicates with them and their prison cells, utensils and personal belongings are separated from other inmates. This observation is mentioned in Public Monitoring Group’s Monitoring Report (2013), which has been conducted in the penitentiary facilities and organs of the Ministry of Justice of RA. The report proves that in penitentiary facilities the most vulnerable groups are homosexuals.

The cleaning of drainage, toilets and baths in penitentiaries are considered the most humiliating activities which are done by homosexuals.

The report indicates that homosexuals are ill-treated not only from other prisoners as well as from the staff and guards of the prisons.

The rapporteurs tell that there had been cases, when the monitors wanted to visit the cells of homosexual prisoners, or to meet them, however the staff has warned them about the prisoners being homosexual and advised them to “stay away” from them.

It is mentioned that the cells of homosexuals are in worse condition than other inmates. Only in “Kosh” penitentiary facility which solitary confinement is not practiced, nevertheless, the homosexual inmates are separated from others as well as their utensils and personal belongings.

While having a conversation with the monitoring group, homosexual prisoners sometimes complained about the behavior they are encountering, in particular one of them said: “We are the heart of the administration, instead of taking care of us, they are suppressing us: we are all hard working boys, we have adapted here, what do they want from us?”. Another one has told: “Homosexuals are used not only for sexual intentions from some inmates but also they are given degrading works in the penitentiary facilities like washing and cleaning toilets, bathrooms, the general area of the prison and etc.”

The monitoring group records that in penitentiary facilities the stereotypes relating homosexuals are more sharp and problematic rather than in the society. Moreover, people who use their utensils and belongings can come across the same situation confirming the penal codes regulating the prisons.

In order to break the stereotypes existing for the vulnerable groups the monitoring group suggests first of all changing the behavior of the administration that, in their opinion, should eventually change the behavior of the inmates accordingly.

It is suggested that homosexuals should be exhumed from doing activities that are considered insulting and instead should hire civilian employees.

Hovhannes Ishkhanyan
Translated by Ejmin Shahbazyan