TBILISI, DFWatch — Up to 300 prisoners will be released before serving their term, Georgia’s new Prison Minister orders.
Sozar Subari, former Public Defender who recently was appointed as Prison Minister, on Sunday visited prison hospital No 18. After seeing the prisoners he told journalists that those prisoners whose health is in a difficult condition will be released within two days.
“There were two patients on hunger strike, but after our meeting they stopped their protest,” he said. “35 person left the prisons on Saturday. Today and tomorrow about 300 prisoners will be released.”
The minister said the hospital is designed for 180 beds, but 247 prisoners are getting medical treatment there right now.
Subari explained that the ministry has changed his approach and the criteria by which prisoners may be released.
“As for political prisoners, this is not the competency of the prison ministry and parliament will review those issues.”
Shortly after the election results were published, officials in the new government said they would prepare an amnesty.
Now Sozar Subari says that the legislative body is working on this issue and he thinks it will not take long.
“An amnesty won’t be a panacea, but if really enforcing rule of releasing under conditions, to abolish summing conviction and changing approach to ill prisoners, it may be a large-scale release and prisons will be unloaded.”
The criteria for being released dur to illness are likely to be the following: if a prisoner has served more than half of his term, or two third in certain cases; an assessment will be needed from the prison.