The violations recorded at the Psychiatric institutions are undisputable: clarification in connection to the publication on Gyumri Mental Health Center

The violations recorded at the Psychiatric institutions are undisputable: clarification in connection to the publication on Gyumri Mental Health Center

The statements of the Director and staff of Gyumri Mental Health Center, made during the interview with “Aravot” daily, denying the violations illustrated in the Human Rights Defender’s ad hoc public report do not reflect the reality.


The Defender’s Office reiterates the gross violations of persons’ rights with mental health issues in this Center, such as expired medications, means of restrain not envisaged by the law, etc.



1) At the end of the visit to Gyumri Mental Health Center, as required by international rules, all violations revealed during the visit were presented to the Director and staff of the Center. 


2) Thereon, written results of the meeting, with necessary analyses, were sent to the Ministry of Economic Development and Investments and the Ministry of Healthcare by the Defender.


3) According to the clarifications made by the Ministry of Economic Development and Investments, the fact of expired medications was confirmed by the order of the Director of the Gyumri Mental Health Center and the respective staff member received severe reprimand by the same order. This was presented on the 60th page of the Human Rights Defender’s ad hoc report. With regard to the severe reprimand, the Defender received extract of the Director’s order with his inscription.


With regard to the means of restrain, we reiterate the statements of the ad hoc report, that in Gyumri Mental Health Center leather belts with complex structure as illegal means of physical restrain were found (43th page of the report).


First off, the current order of the Minister of Healthcare, which is an individual act, cannot regulate any issue in regard to the means of restrain or their use. It should be regulated exclusively by the law. Even if we conditionally accept the Minister’s order as a basis, still, the belts do not meet its requirements: mechanical means of physical restrain should be easily released and do not cause any harm to the patients.


An obvious example of complex structure of belts and difficulties in opening and closing the locks is also the attached video to the interview, where the difficulty in opening the lock is evident. With  regard to using sheets as means of restrain, in the report the list of institutions using it is precisely indicated. Gyumri Mental Health Center is not in that list.


We are emphasizing that, there are no cases in the report on beating persons with mental health issues in psychiatric institutions.


5)While discussing the paid services, the Director of Gyumri Mental Health Center mentioned only the payments of separate rooms and references.

It is recorded in the report that the pricelist of medical services developed by the Director of the Center encompasses free of charge services, such as treatment of mentally ill persons, psychiatric and psychological counseling, etc., that are prescribed free of charge by the Government Decree 350-N of April 1, 2010. Hence, once again we underline that listing them in the pricelist for paid services is illegal.


6) Daily care of women patients by men sanitarians humiliates human dignity in concrete cases.


This does not refer to physicians, but the staff of the psychiatric institution, that ensures daily care and personal hygiene of the persons with mental health issues.


7) During the visit of the Defender’s representatives to Gyumri mental Health Center the number of tables and chairs in canteen did not satisfy the number of patients. This was confirmed by both persons with mental health issues and staff of the Center.


The violations that are enshrined in the ad hoc report of the Defender are based on professional researches guided by the international requirements and guide rules developed thereon.


The facts on revealed violations in all psychiatric institutions were sent to competent state, including law enforcement bodies.


Though this public statement, once again confirming the fact of violations in Gyumri Mental Health Center, we consider the controversy in this regard settled.


Instead of attempts to deny or justify the violations presented in the report, immediate and consistent activities should be initiated to achieve their elimination.