TBILISI, DFWatch – There are suspicions that a prisoner may have died as a result of torture.
The family of Zurab Delianidze (39) claims that he was violently tortured and demand an inquest, according to TSPress.ge, a website run by the newspaper Tavisupali Sitkva.
Delianidze died at Gldani prison hospital in Tbilisi. The website has published photos of the corpse, which shows that the victim had many bodily injuries and bruises on his back, arms and ribs.
Prison representatives told family members that Delianidze died of a heart attack.
“But he was an absolutely healthy person,” his wife says, adding that the administration told her that her husband died on May 1, but she claims he must have died about one week earlier earlier, because of the terrible condition the corpse was in when she saw it.
She says that she couldn’t recognize the corpse of her own husband because of all the injuries, until they confirmed that it was his body. TSPress has published several images which can be seen here. DF Watch warns against the graphic nature of the images.
Zurab Delianidze was sentenced to six years in jail for possession of marijuana.
This is the third suspicious death in police custody which has made the news this year. In late February, police reported that there had been a death during interrogation at a police station in Khashuri. They said the victim, Solomon Kimeridze, fell down the stairs and died in hospital later that day. However photos of the corpse raised suspicions that he had been tortured. Groups and opposition activists protested and demanded an independent inquest, but this has so far not been done.
The next month, media reported another instance of a man who died during interrogation, this time at Gori police station. Police reported that the victim, Tamaz Jghamadze, had died of a heart attack.