The messenger logo

Press Scanner

Compiled by Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, August 31
Ombudsman Slams Mistreatment of Inmates in Kutaisi Prison published a statement of the Georgian Public Defender’s Office (PDO) on August 29, saying that conditions of inmates in prison no.2 in Kutaisi, western Georgia, had “deteriorated significantly” recently.

PDO said in a statement, that as part of monitoring penitentiary centers located in the western region of Imereti this summer, its monitors spoke with about 600 inmates of Kutaisi prison with the majority of them reporting “abusive and humiliating” treatment at the hands of the prison administration. A total of 1,451 inmates are serving their jail term in Kutaisi prison.

PDO said in case of a violation of the prison’s internal rules, instead of sending an inmate to a special one-person cell, a prisoner is forced to spend from 3 to 24 hours barefoot and almost naked in an a 6 meters squared empty cell, dubbed as the “box”. In another form of punishment prisoners are forced to spend from one to two hours kneeling down with hands behind their head, according to the Public Defender’s Office.

It called on the minister in charge of the prison system, Khatuna Kalmakhelidze, “to immediately take appropriate measures to secure protection of prisoners rights” in the Kutaisi prison and also called on them to hold responsible any prison officials who mistreat inmates.

In contrast to the Kutaisi prison, the Public Defender’s Office said conditions in a prison in Geguti also in the Imereti region are much better with inmates reporting the prison chief’s efforts to address their problems.

The Public Defender said that the Geguti jail with 2,693 prisoners “is the only penitentiary center” where those inmates who have to spend some time in a one-person cell as a punishment for violation of prison rules, have access to a bathroom and are also given the right to walk out of cell walls and to have their own toiletries.

“Volunteer inspectors “do their best to fine dealers

Kviris Palitra reports that the institute of so called volunteer inspectors was set up a month ago and hundreds of dealers and vendors have already appealed to the Disputes Council of the Revenue office. Dealers are particularly unhappy about fines given for failure to produce a sales receipt. According to the dealers, volunteers use a lot of different provocative methods to allow them to issue fines.

Based on the newspaper, until now the dealers, vendors and those who are involved in trade have been inspected by the revenues office, however those representatives were familiar to the dealers and they were very careful while noticing them. Thus the amount of fines was small and the Revenue Office found an “excellent outcome from the situation”. Ordinary citizens who volunteers for this role take a 20% cut from each fine and with this motivation in mind they use different provocative steps.