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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Friday, March 25
Kalmakhelidze on prisoners rights violations

The Georgian Public Defender addressed the Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance Khatuna Kalmakhelidze with recommendation regarding the violation of prisonersí rights in Kutiasi prison, 24 Hours reports.

Public Defender Giorgi Tugushi asks the minister to study the problems in the prison.

As InterPressNews was told by the public Defenderís office, they were addressed with a collective statement from the convicts in Kutaisi prison No. 2.

It is indicated in the statement that their rights are violated in the institution. The procedure for meeting the doctor is complicated and they are not provided with the necessary medicine.

The prisoners note that they are not able to take a shower regularly (twice a week) as it is indicated in the code of imprisonment.

They spend only 15 minutes outside and they are humiliated by prison wardens.

Prisoners mentioned that they have tried to write letters to the public defender, though they could not be sent. The prison administration did not satisfy their demand to allow TV sets into the cells.

Georgian Pen-Centre Concerned about Presidentís Statement

The Georgian pen-centre expressed its concern over the Presidentís statement about the remark the writer Zaza Burchuladze made in Kutaisi, 24 Hours reports.

Their statement reads that the Presidentís emotion reminds them of the Soviet past when the officials regulated the writersí language and writerís relations with the readers and dictated to the writers what to write. In the soviet area, writers were sent to build hydro power stations, military units, developed villages, regions and cities to praise the Soviet achievements.

ďIn the country, when the Presidentís word has greater influence than the state institutions, we fear such statements could damage the writer Zaza Burchuladze and other colleagues of his. We hope the President wonít assess writers from a political stance and abuse them on a national level. We think that the broadcast by Imedi TV was aimed at provoking conflicts between the writersĒ, the statement reads.

President Saakashvili said that some writers describe the public using stereotypes of the old epoch.