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Minister of Correction announces reshuffle

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, December 24
Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance Giorgi Mghebrishvili states that staff reshuffles will take place in the ministry after the Department of Penitentiary merges with the ministry. He stresses that dismissal will mainly concern lower levels of the department.

“We need new blood… new qualified employees in the department,” Mghebrishvili said, adding that the officials of the current Penitentiary Department would preserve their posts.

The minister stated that various reforms are being planned in the body that will transform the current ministry into a modern and transparent institution, offering normal conditions to prisoners.

Meanwhile, the opposition United National Movement claims that the current government fails to control the situation in prisons.

Some NGOs also admit that there are some problems with regard to monitoring prisons.

The leader of the local NGO Identoba Irakli Vacharadze has left the Prisons Monitoring Group (composed of NGOs, journalists, and others). Reportedly, two other members also left the group.

Vacharadze wrote on his Facebook page that getting information concerning the situation in prisons was becoming more and more difficult.

He reported that the group members did not have an opportunity to implement the rights granted to them by law.

“There is no transparency. It provides a good opportunity for corruption, nepotism and non-transparency,” he said.

The head of the Unity of Judges of Georgia Nazi Janezashvili, did not leave the group, but she stressed that there were problems and the prison monitoring mechanism required improvement.

She admitted that it is difficult to understand according to which criteria the group members are chosen.