Prisoner abuse

Six former prison guards in Georgia will face trial for torture

by | May 12, 2017

TBILISI, DFWatch--Six former guards at the notorious Penitentiary No 8 in Tbilisi have been detained for alleged torture of prisoners during the presidency of Mikheil Saakashvili. Legal proceedings have been launched against former Head of Legal Regimen of the same facility,

News, Prisoner abuse

Georgia charges former deputy prosecutor with staging torture

by | December 7, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Police in Georgia have detained a former deputy prosecutor and charged him with participating in filming videos of staged torture at a prison in Tbilisi. The Prosecutor’s Office charges Davit Chkhatarashvili, the former first deputy of ex-Chief

News, Prisoner abuse

Bacho Akhalaia sentenced to three years, nine months

by | October 30, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--A court in Georgia has sentenced a former government minister to three years and nine months in jail for his role in a prison riot in 2006. Bacho Akhalaia, former Prison, Defense and Interior Minister, was charged together with Davit Chakua, Revaz

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Groups to study Georgia’s prisoner abuse

by | October 1, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Local and international human rights organizations are to examine the footage of prisoner abuse, one year after it created a firestorm of criticism in Georgia. A handful of videos were leaked to the media by a former prison guard less than two weeks

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Ex prison minister questioned about torture, claims didn’t know

by | August 17, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Prosecutor’s Office in Georgia Friday summoned the former prison and defense ministers to question them about the torture in the prisons during the Saakashvili regime. According to the Prosecutor’s Office, it has found, after a number

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Three detained as anger boils over outside Akhalaia trial

by | August 14, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Three people were Tuesday detained at a rally outside Tbilisi City Court where the case against ex-minister Bacho Akhalaia went on. In a few days, the court will announce its verdict in the final case against Akhalaia which deals with torture

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Ivanishvili criticizes prisoner abuse whistleblower walking free

by | July 9, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili criticizes the chief prosecutor for having freed a former prison guard from criminal responsibility for torturing prisoners because he blew the whistle on the scandal. The whistleblower, Vladimer Bedukadze, was released

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Further proof of prisoner torture to be revealed

by | June 19, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--In Georgia, Interior Minister Irakli Gharibashvili plans to release a video today at a meeting where also foreign diplomats will be present. The video is said to contain strong scenes of sexual abuse of prisoners and was discovered in an underground

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Sixteen convicted of prisoner torture in Georgia

by | June 16, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--A court in Tbilisi determined sixteen persons as guilty of torture of prisoners, humiliation and mistreatment, but recognized Vladmier Bedukadze, the person who released the video footage documenting it, as innocent. He was freed from criminal

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Two prison inspectors organized ‘welcome greeting’

by | April 26, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Two former inspectors at a prison in Rustavi, a town just south of Tbilisi, have been detained, suspected of mistreatment of prisoners. Interpressnews quotes a representative of the regional prosecutor’s office who gave the names of the detainees

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Four prison staff suspected of torture and rape in Georgia

by | April 11, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Police in Georgia have detained two prison employees for torturing and raping a prisoner in 2012. The detentions took place at Ksani prison north of the capital. Two other employees are being searched for in the same case. The Prosecutor’s Office

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Prisoner abuse a persistent problem in Georgia

by | April 3, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Several hundred prisoners have complained to the public defender’s office from September of 2012 until the end of the year saying they were subject to mistreatment by prison staff. The disturbing figures are included in the ombudsman's annual

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Bacho Akhalaia moved back to scandalous prison

by | March 11, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Former interior minister and close Saakashvili ally Bacho Akhalaia has been moved from a relatively privileged facility to Prison No 8 in north Tbilisi, notorious for numerous cases of torture and death. Akhalaia, who has been in detention since

News, Prisoner abuse

Prison official admits guilt in abuse scandal

by | March 5, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--A former high official in the Georgian prison system admits guilt in a case of mistreatment and torture of prisoners, but says he was a victim of the Saakashvili regime.Gaga Mkurnalidze, former deputy chairman of the Prison Department, is one of 17

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Ex minister charged with causing fatal prison riot

by | March 1, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--A former government minister and close Saakashvili ally will be charged with misconduct during the country’s largest prison riot in 2006 which caused seven deaths. The Prosecutor’s Office today presented details of the prison riot and charged Bacho

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Prison torture has not been investigated: NGOs

by | February 11, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Non-governmental organizations say the cases of torture in the prisons, which caused a wave of demonstrations in September, 2012 and preceded the ruling party’s election defeat, have not been investigated by the new government. "Despite an

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Prison torture whistleblower released on bail

by | January 20, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch -- The man who published the videos that spurred the prisoner abuse scandal was today released on USD 1 200 bail. Tbilisi City Court Saturday evening released Vladimer Bedukadze, the former employee of Prison No 8, where the majority of torture cases

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Prisoner abuse whistleblower returns to Georgia

by | January 18, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Police in Georgia Thursday morning detained former prison guard Vladimer Bedukadze at Tbilisi airport, as he arrived from Istanbul. Bedukadze last year published five video clips documenting prisoner abuse, which caused a public outrage that led

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Georgia prison rape video was real

by | December 26, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch -- The Georgian Prosecutor's Office has concluded an investigation of a handful of videos showing torture of prisoners which sparked protests two weeks before the election in October, 2012. The videos were published September 19, and showed

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‘Justice Minister arranged fake torture video to defuse scandal’

by | December 23, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch -- The Georgian Prosecutor's Office has launched an investigation into one of the prison torture videos that shook the country two weeks before the 2012 parliamentary election. The first of six videos was published in the morning of September 18,

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Georgia starts investigating prisoner abuse

by | December 5, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Prosecutors in Georgia are preparing to press charges in several cases of prison abuse, based on a series of leaked videos which spurred a major scandal in September. Chief Prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili said at a press conference on Tuesday

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Ex minister returns to Georgia to face criticism

by | November 5, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch -- A former government official seen by many as the main architect of the torture in Georgia's prisons says he has returned after leaving the country shortly after the parliamentary election. Bacho Akhalaia, who served as prison minister for three years, then defense minister for three

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Government claims growing prisoner unrest is staged

by | November 5, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch -- The unrest in Georgia's prison system has spread to the most infamous facility in the country: Ksani prison north of Tbilisi. At No 15 Facility, as it is officially called, thousands of prisoners have gone on hunger strike demanding that the recently appointed

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Rustavi prison director leaves his job

by | November 3, 2012

The director of Rustavi prison has been suspended while allegations against him of abuse are under review. But the general inspection will not fully study the situation in this prison. The prison in Rustavi, about 20 km south of the capital, started on Wednesday.

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Prison protest was sabotage, hints Ivanishvili

by | November 3, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili says there are signs of sabotage at No 16 prison in Rustavi. The prison minister says a criminal investigation may be launched against the director if there is proven that violence. People with loved ones inside

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Riot attempt at Rustavi Prison No 16

by | November 1, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Prisoners in a prison south of Tbilisi Wednesday protested, demanding the new director's resignation. Prisoners claim that the director Levan Aburjania, a former policeman, threatened them with torture. Shortly before the new prison minister was approved by the new parliament,

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Juvenile prisoners in Georgia are suffering, says group

by | October 30, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Psychologists say juvenile prisoners are serving time under very bad conditions in Georgia. Georgian Centre for Psychosocial and Medical Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (GCRT) found out that juvenile prisoners were tortured last year. Head

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Alleged architect of prison abuse videos freed

by | October 10, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch -- The prisoner whom the government claimed orchestrated the prisoner abuse videos has been released. Tamaz Tamazashvili, the father-in-law of the likely candidate for new interior minister, was Wednesday released from prison. When leaving prison Tamazashvili

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At last, the public will be allowed into Georgia’s prisons

by | October 9, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch -- The prison minister in Georgia says he will put together a monitoring group to let human rights activists and the media into facilities to check the conditions. Apart from non-governmental organizations and the media, the monitoring group will also have

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Protested against violence

by | October 8, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Groups on Sunday protested against the attack on a well-known Georgian writer who was beaten after participating in a TV debate about the publishing of the names of prison employees by a newspaper. About 50 people gathered outside a police station

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Writer attacked after prison guard naming dispute

by | October 7, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Protests continue after a Georgian newspaper published the names of employees at a prison scandalized by revelations of torture. On Saturday evening, a well-known writer who has been engaging in the protests was attacked and beaten. Asaval-Dasavali,

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Prisoner found dead, suspected suicide

by | October 5, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Georgia's prison ministry informs that a suicide might have taken place at No 18 prison hospital. The body of a prisoner was found in the bathroom of the prison hospital September 5. The cause of death was hanging. The prisoner had been placed in the

News, Prisoner abuse

Anger after newspaper names prison guards

by | October 4, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch -- One of Georgia's most popular newspapers on Wednesday revealed the identity of guards working in a controversial prison where serious abuse was revealed two weeks ago. The list shows the names, address and date of birth of prison guards and employees working at

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Second group of prisoners go on hunger strike

by | September 28, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Thirteen prisoners from one of Georgia's prisons went on hunger strike for five days until the election as way of showing their protest against torture and mistreatment of prisoners. Representatives of the public defender September 26 visited

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Interpol declares Georgia whistleblower wanted

by | September 27, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Interpol has declared Vladimer Bedukadze a wanted person. He is the former prison guard who recently released videos of prison torture filmed by himself at Gldani prison in Tbilisi in 2011. These videos spurred a massive public reaction which led to

News, Prisoner abuse

12 so far arrested for prison torture in Georgia

by | September 27, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgia’s Prosecutor’s Office Wednesday reported that it had arrested the twelfth person so far for involvement in prison torture after a series of videos one week ago documented physical and sexual abuse by staff against inmates. Mamuka

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Call for Georgian leaders to be banned in the West

by | September 24, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – Groups in Georgia demands that the former prison minister, former interior minister, current justice minister and current chief prosecutor are banned from civilized countries because of their cruel and inhuman treatment of citizens. The appeal

News, Prisoner abuse

Anti-abuse activists tell of being beaten

by | September 24, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgia’s ombudsman says Dachi Tsaguria and Beka Aladoshvili, who were arrested on Saturday, were verbally and physically abused during pre-trial detention. Dachi Tsaguria and his friend Beka Alodashvili were arrested on Saturday. Tsaguria

News, Prisoner abuse

Prison guards who tortured have not been removed

by | September 23, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – Prison employees who committed torture and humiliating abuse in a Tbilisi prison are still going to work as normal, inmates say. Prisoners at Gldani prison told this to journalists who were let in. They named the names of specific persons who have

News, Prisoner abuse

Looking for loved ones in the prison of shame

by | September 22, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Galina Nemsitsveridze waited outside the entrance hall of Gldani prison on Friday, like hundreds of other people trying to see their sons and husbands. Galina's son was suspected of sexually abusing his future wife together with two persons and put

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Prisoner said he was beaten after shakeup

by | September 22, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – The first new story of prisoner abuse has surfaced after President Saakashvili began a major shakeup of Georgia's prison system. The attempt at “resetting” the prison reform comes after a wave of criticism following several videos showing

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Students gather outside Gldani prison

by | September 22, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – Student groups gathered outside of Gldani prison Friday, in a more scaled down protest against prisoner abuse than earlier in the week. Organizers decided not to hold a mass rally on Friday to avoid provocation.  They

News, Prisoner abuse

New minister visits prison of shame

by | September 21, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgia's new prison minister today visited Gldani prison accompanied by journalists. He said prisoners told him that the situation has changed to the positive the last two days. Nino Zuriashvili, investigative journalist, said they observed

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The broomstick revolution is coming

by | September 21, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – Anger is not abating in Georgia, after the second minister leaves because of revelations of prisoner abuse. The largest crowd of demonstrators seen so far in this crisis swept through the central thoroughfare of Tbilisi Thursday evening,

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Another video shows abuse of psychiatric patients

by | September 21, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – The sixth video clip showing prisoner abuse was aired Thursday by TV9. It seems to shows mentally ill persons who are inmates in Gldani prison and are being humiliated and forced to dance and sing. Gldani prison is where the majority of torture

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Georgia’s interior minister resigns over abuse scandal

by | September 21, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - After releasing the scandalous footage of prisoner abuse, Georgia's powerful interior minister, who is suspected to be behind these incidents, has been forced to leave his post. For three days people all over Georgia have been demanding that Bacho

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EU Statement on Georgia prisoner abuse

by | September 20, 2012

The European Union Wednesday issued a statement regarding the ongoing scandal surrounding prisoner abuse in Georgia: “The EU Delegation is shocked by the appalling footage of abuses committed against inmates in Gldani prison. It is of vital importance that these

News, Prisoner abuse

Saakashvili appoints ombudsman as prison minister

by | September 20, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili Thursday appointed the public defender as prison minister. Former prison minister Khatuna Kalmakhelidze resigned yesterday amidst a scandal spurred by the release of five videos showing prisoners being beaten

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Harassed for trying to leave the ruling party

by | September 20, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Members of the ruling National Movement party who have left the party as sign of a protest against prisoner abuse revealed by the release of several videos say the government is harasses them and their family member and trying to stop them from

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Prison guard tried to flee, others convicted

by | September 20, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Davit Akobia, former employee at Gldani prison -- also known as Prison No 8 -- was this morning arrested on the border with Armenia. He has been mentioned as one of the persons behind video footage showing torture of prisoner. The Prosecutor’s Office

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Crisis continues over prisoner abuse

by | September 20, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Wednesday morning Georgia’s prison minister resigned after scandalous footage of prisoners torture was published in the media and through the internet. Tens and hundreds of thousand have protested all over Georgia, demanding the resignation of the

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Underage prisoner sodomized by guards

by | September 19, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – In a new video clip of prisoner torture in Georgia, an underage prisoner is shown being sodomized by prison guards. The clip was aired today on the opposition channel TV9. It shows an underage prisoner (meaning under 18 years) being physically and

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Prisoner abuse in Georgia – Saakashvili’s ticking time bomb

by | September 19, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – For the last 24 hours, the whole of Georgia has been concerned about five videos released by different sources that show physical and sexual abuse of prisoners. People spontaneously took to the streets to show their disgust, and protests are still

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Saakashvili: ‘Georgia’s prison reforms a complete failure’

by | September 19, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian president admits that Georgia's prison system is a complete failure and needs to be repaired. Mikheil Saakashvili Wednesday instructed his prime minister to take responsibility for reforming the system and ensure the safety of

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Massive outcry over prisoner abuse videos

by | September 19, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – A series of protest rallies have erupted throughout the capital and large cities in Georgia, after shocking videos of prisoner abuse released by the interior ministry and aired on two opposition TV channels last night. Some of the footage appeared

News, Prisoner abuse

Georgian “Abu Ghraib” causes public outrage in Tbilisi

by | September 19, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Four different videos showing physical and sexual abuse of prisoners in Georgian prisons has triggered a widespread public outrage and a demand for the prison minister to step down. The videos were released on Tuesday by the Ministry of Internal

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