Employees of another Georgian prison detained on torture charges
TBILISI, September 27 – RAPSI. The Georgian Prosecutor Generals Office detained on Thursday four employees of Kutaisi Prison No. 16, Prosecutor Shota Tkeshelashvili said at a press briefing.
He said all four individuals have been charged with torture, and an investigation is underway.
Kutaisi Prison No. 16 is the second penal institution in Georgia where acts of torture by law enforcement officers have been revealed, NEWSGEORGIA reported.
Previously, the Interior Ministry said it had uncovered incidents of prisoners being treated poorly in Gldani Prison No. 8 in Tbilisi. Investigators said a group of prison employees were treating prisoners cruelly, and recorded video materials of their actions. The Prosecutor General's Office said ten Department of Corrections employees have been arrested, including the deputy department head and the prison director.
The Interior Ministry published the video materials on its website, noting that only a small portion have been made available to the public. The remaining footage will not be shown due to its explicit content, it said.
However, the Maestro and Ninth TV channels showed shocking videos of beatings and rapes in prison, and claim they have all the recorded materials.
The channels said they received the videos from former prison employee Vladimir Bedukadze, who is now in Belgium.
Tbilisi and other Georgian cities saw mass rallies demanding that the guilty be punished.
The Prosecutor Generals Office reported that an investigation into the torturing of prisoners is underway. Some 12 department employees have been detained.
The Tbilisi City Court has placed them into custody.
Another former prison employee has been placed on the wanted list. Corrections and Legal Assistance Minister Khatuna Kalmakhelidze and Interior Minister Bacho Akhalaya have resigned due to the incident. Georgy Tugushi, the public defender, became the new corrections minister, and Eka Zguladze, the former deputy interior minister, was appointed the acting interior minister.
Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili was charged with controlling the penitentiary system.