The messenger logo

Minister of Corrections denies increased rate of death in prisons

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Thursday, December 18
Minister of Legal Assistance and Corrections Giorgi Mghebrishvili said that compared to 2013, the number of inmate death cases in prisons has not increased.

According to Mghebrishvili 25 inmates died in 2013.

“We recorded the same number in 2014 as well,” Mghebrishvili said.

However, he admitted that suicide cases increased slightly in 2014 compared to the previous year.

“Last year we reported six suicide cases, unfortunately this year the number is 7,” he said.

“We are doing our best to decrease the number of deaths. When it comes to suicide, anti-suicide programs have already been launched in some prisons. We want to involve all institutions in order to prevent them,” stated Mghebrishvili.

Mghebvrishvili’s statements were mainly made in response to the Public Defender, who has stated that the situation in prisons with regard to death cases and suicide, remains poor.

“Facts of suicide in prisons can be taken as very problematic, as they were not properly investigated. The Ministry of Corrections and the Prosecutor’s Office must conduct a thorough investigation on such cases,” stated Nanuashvili.

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) stresses that in some cases the cause of a prisoner’s death is the poor living condition.

“The state is obliged to arrange its penitentiary system so that the respect of the dignity of the prisoner is ensured,” GYLA states.

The organization states that prisoners with various diseases, tuberculosis among them, require the proper infrastructure, fresh air (proper ventilation) and natural light.