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 isolation cells which are empty. She also said prisoners refused to name specific names of guards. They say there has been no violence during the last two days, but that it happened earlier.

These days media reported that prisoners were planning a riot. But a reporter from Netgazeti said prisoners are now fully informed about the events outside and that there won’t be a riot.

“Misha should leave. A riot will be a benefit for him,” they said.

The new prison minister, Giorgi Tughushi, who until yesterday was public defender, promised the prisoners that violence and torture will be prevented.

Prisoners greeted journalists and the minister by knocking on the cells and asking for help, some praying.

Tughushi addressed the prisoners from the yard saying that no one will ever touch prisoners, and that their conditions will improve.

The new minister said police will leave Gldani prison tomorrow. He said the system should be fully changed, officials will be fired, as well as ordinary employees engaged in mistreatment of prisoners.

“I will speak with each prisoner, gain information and fire each ordinary employee or official who was involved in torture,” he said, adding that he already has fired ten employees today.

New staff will be selected in stages. They will go through training and then replace old employees.