TBILISI, DFWatch–Special guards are protecting election posters of one of the presidential candidates in a prison, to prevent prisoners from tearing them down.
Under Georgian law, every person who is detained but has not yet received a verdict, and those who have received a less than five years sentence, have a right to vote, and may use election precincts that have been arranged inside prisons.
The candidates in Sunday’s election have a right to distribute campaign material in the prisons.
Prison Minister Sozar Subari said on Friday that officers are protecting the posters of one of the candidates.
He said every poster which was taken down is on the wall.
“We alerted everyone, and if someone didn’t bring posters, we wouldn’t force them to,” he said, adding that one of the candidate posters needs protection, but he didn’t specify which candidate.
Prisoners are expected to be especially dissatisfied with Saakashvili’s government, especially after the prison abuse scandal last year. The likely posters in need of protection by guards will therefore by many be assumed to be those of National Movement candidate Davit Bakradze.
Saakashvili introduced a zero tolerance policy on crime and tripled the prison population. Last year, two weeks before the parliamentary election, people learnt about widespread torture and mistreatment in prisons.