News, Prisoner abuse

Four prison staff suspected of torture and rape in Georgia

by | Apr 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 said Thursday that their investigation has found support for leveling accusations against the prison’s director Shota Tolordava, the head of the prison’s legal department Levan Lezhava, its security chief Giorgi Parjanadze, and the head of the prisoner’s department Dimitry Chkheidze.

In a statement, prosecutors say the prisoner who is only identified by the initials P.O. was taken from his cell on February 24, 2012, at about 22:00, and brought to the gymnastics room. The four accused then tied his hands and feet and brutally beat him, the statement says.

“He was beaten with a rubber baton. They repeatedly used electroshock and put his head into a bucket full of water and then raped him with the rubber baton,” the statement reads.

Lezhava and Parjanadze have been detained, while a search is underway for the two others.

There was revealed many cases of sexual abuse of prisoners and physical mistreatment after the leaking of a handful of videos in September 19, 2012. The scandal led to the resignation of the prison and interior ministers and massive demonstrations in support of prisoners.

Before the prisoner abuse scandal, the ombudsman’s annual reports described how difficult conditions the prisoners had, but the government didn’t pay attention to it, and the foreign advisers who were helping run the prisons at the time claimed the ombudsman’s reports were sufficient and no other action was required to stop the abuse.

After the change of government, the new government promised to investigate all cases of torture of prisoners, while parliament passed a law about mass-amnesty, which led to the release of more than half of about 24 000 prisoners.



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