Nana Kakabadze from the organization Former Political Prisoners for Human Rights. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–The Prison Ministry in Georgia Saturday called on prisoners to put an end to a hunger strike that has been joined by 146 prisoners all across Georgia.

In Prison No 6 in Rustavi, 20 km away from the capital, about a hundred prisoners have been on hunger strike for more than four days. Some of them demand to meet with the public defender and the minister of justice. About 19 prisoners are protesting in Prison no 15 in Ksani.

Nana Kakabadze, head of the organization Former Political Prisoners for Human Rights, announced the start of the hunger strike on December 2.

She said the reason the prisoners are going to such a drastic step is a statement made by Minister of Justice Thea Tsulukiani, that the government may postpone the setting up of a commission to determine errors and possible miscarriages of justice. The minister said the reason is a lack of financing in the budget. The prisoners regard this explanation as absurd, according to Kakabadze.

The ministry calls for patience until the commission has been created, and assures that the health of the prisoners on hunger strike is under control and that they will be looked after.

“But of course the resource of human health is not eternal, therefore the ministry calls on the families of the prisoners to advise them to avoid such actions.”

Some of the prisoners also demand to remove a certain passage from Georgian legislation regarding ‘thieves in law’, arguing it may be used to convict innocent people because it contains too much room for interpretation. The ministry’s press office told Interpressnews that the government has a firm position when it comes to Georgian legislation and will never remove the passage about punishing mafia members.