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Condition of opposition hunger strike duo worsens

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, June 14
Various oppositional parties have demanded the immediate release of the detained pair, the Conservative Party's Lasha Chkhartishvili and the People’s Assembly member Soso Jachvliani, on June 13. According to the parties' representatives, the health condition of the detained men, who are on hunger strike, is deteriorating in the poor conditions of the prison.

“Arrests with a political motive are ongoing in the country and the authorities continue to punish all people who have opposing views. There are people who are illegally detained, tortured in prisons and there are also those who have gone missing, “ the statement of the Labour Party reads. According to them the party is working to protect those people’s rights who are illegally imprisoned, “The Georgian Labour Party demands the immediate release of Chkhartishvili, Jachvliani and others.”

According to the representative of the People’s Party, Aleko Shalamberidze, after 8 days of being on hunger strike, Chkhartishvili’s health condition is weak and that the emergency services have already been called twice for him, “the demands, for which Chkhartishvili is on hunger strike, have not been fulfilled. He seeks an investigation into the May 26 events and an official search for those who have since gone missing,”

The lawyer of Chkhartishvili, Keti Bekauri has already addressed the International Red Cross Organization to start monitoring the health condition of those detained and to investigate any violations of their rights, “the reason for which he was detained, the use of bad language, is false. All he said was: Saakashvili’s regime is falling down and you are the slave of the regime. He is in an extremely bad condition in his cell. There is neither ventilation nor washing facilities. He is in an information vacuum and is not allowed to walk beyond the cell door."

Parliamentary opposition MP, Gia Tsagareishvili also stated that those people in prison are under serious pressure and blamed Parliament Speaker Davit Bakradze of defending their treatment, “ I have several times appealed to the Parliament Speaker to let me see the people in prison, however I have not had any response yet.” According to the Movement Solidarity for Illegal Prisoners, 48 men are missing after the May 26 events, however the Interior Ministry does not release information on which activities are being carried out in this direction.

According to the Ministry of Probation and Legal Assistance, all prisoners in prison are in similar conditions and these are in no way unbearable, “ I can say that all prisoners are in common conditions, all of them are in similar cells, there are no special prisoners in the prison and no one is more privileged or punished than another. As for the medical service, it is also similar for all them , “ the Chair of Press Service of the Ministry, Tea Sukhishvili, said.

As for the authorities' attitude, they have consistently mentioned that there are no political prisoners in the country and that each man is in prison because he has committed a crime and not for any other reasons.

Lasha Chkhartishvili was detained on June 5 for resisting arrest and using bad language towards police, when they were trying to hold a meeting regarding the May 26 events. His detention term expires on June 15.