TBILISI, DFWatch–Non-governmental organizations say the cases of torture in the prisons, which caused a wave of demonstrations in September, 2012 and preceded the ruling party’s election defeat, have not been investigated by the new government.
“Despite an extraordinarily high public interest in the investigation, no efficient steps have been made. Investigators have not started actively interviewing inmates to collect information and public has not yet duly informed about the course of investigation,” says a statement by Georgian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) including Georgian Young Lawyer’s Association (GYLA), Transparency International Georgia, International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy, Open Society Georgia Foundation.
The NGOs protest against the government’s improper reaction to the cases of torture and pressure in prisons. According to the statement, Human Rights Watch has also noted that investigations are pending.
“The authorities acknowledged both the systemic nature of prison abuse and their failure to react effectively to years of warnings about such abuse. The ministers for prisons and interior resigned, and police arrested 16 penitentiary staff,” Human Rights Watch writes in its World Report 2013.
In September, 2012, NGOs demanded an objective probe into the torture cases, including the cases shown on the video tapes that were shown on TV two weeks before the election. They also proposed to confer the mandate of the investigation to a public prosecutor who has public trust.
The NGOs requested a board manned by lawyers, doctors and psychologists for monitoring and interviewing prisoners and collect information that will be valuable for a prosecutor.
“The demands that we raised in September, 2012 remain relevant. (…) We further demand making of efficient steps for rehabilitation of victims of torture and inhuman treatment,” the statement says.