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 participated in public protests against torture in Georgian prisons. Both told the ombudsman representatives that they were beaten.
Tbilisi City Court sentenced the two to ten days’ administrative detention for disobeying law enforcers.
The judge made his decision without the presence of Tsaguria and Alodashvili, who left the trial as a sign of protest.
Kakha Kozharidze, their lawyer claims the trial was one-sided. He also confirms that Dachi Tsaguria was beaten.
Human rights activist Levan Chitadze said at a rally Saturday outside Tbilisi Concert Hall that Dachi Tsaguria was beaten with brooms in the temporary detention cell.
A broom is seen used to humiliate a prisoner in one of the most scandalous videos showing torture of prisoners. It has become a symbol of the recent protest rallies.
The ombudsman’s representatives visited the detainees after this statement.
“The Public Defender’s representatives became acquainted with the protocol on visual inspection drawn up in the temporary detention isolator according to which, while Dachi Tsaguria was in the isolator, he bore “redness in the area of the right armpit, redness on the wrists – traces of handcuffs, and red scab on the left knee,” the ombudsman’s statement says, but adds that their health is in no danger.
The interior ministry nonetheless denies that Dachi Tsaguria was beaten.
“When the police officer was trying to put handcuffs on him, Dachi Tsaguria continued resistance and as a result has hurt his knee and has several scratches and redness in the arm-pit area of his right hand. After detention Dachi Tsaguria was transferred to Rustavi Preliminary Detention Cell where he was met by representatives of the Public Defender’s Office. His lawyer has unlimited right to visit him. The Ministry of Internal Affairs reiterates that no pressure has been exercised against Dachi Tsaguria.”