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Violence in Georgian prison: On all the screens of the country2012-09-19 17:41
Scandal, caused by the broadcasting of shots of violence against prisoners in Tbilisi Gldani prison, has acquired nationwide scale. The protests are being held across the country. On the video, shown by several opposition channels of Georgia, we can see prison officers brutally humiliating the prisoners. A wave of public outrage has covered almost the entire country. "Chief jailer" of the country Khatuna Kalmakhelidze has resigned. Minister of Defense Bacho Akhalaia also may face resignation. Our correspondent, who is in the thick of things, told us about the happenings.
"I call to rebellion, to be held on October 1 at the ballot boxes", an anchorperson of the TV "Maestro" Shalva Ramishvili declares. In yesterday's evening news he said: "Everyone must see what we are going to show now! Call your friends, neighbors, comrades, relatives; let them switch to the channel "Maestro" and see footage that we have".
One of the most spectacular in recent year's political scandals in Georgia began with these words. On the footage, shown by the opposition TV channel, we can see prison guards beating and torturing prisoners, and even raping them. Video recording, made with a hidden camera, shows the twelve prison officers beating young men, while several new inmates, standing in a row with their hands tied, are waiting for their "turn to get beaten".
Footage that shocked the country was uploaded to various web servers. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia removes them whenever possible. But despite the Ministry's efforts, the video has led to civil unrests throughout Georgia.
When a scandalous video was shown on TV, the President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili was at the concert. Coming out, he saw the protest. Without pausing, he quickly retreated from there. Soon after, speaking on TV, Saakashvili spoke in defense of the rights of prisoners.
People that came out to the streets and squares of the city are getting outrage more and more. "The entire country was offended. I hate the "National Movement" and its followers, if there still are such people", says a young woman, who joined the action outside the Philharmonic Hall late last night.
Protest actions outside the Gldani prison and on Rustaveli Avenue are still ongoing. The main requirement of the protesters is to dismiss Bacho Akhalaia and Khatuna Kalmakhelidze from their posts. Otherwise, the activists threaten with even bigger protests. Kalmakhelidze has already voluntarily resigned.
Representatives of the Georgian clergy also have joined public protest. The rallies are attended by both ordinary people and relatives of the prisoners.
"Everyone, starting from Saakashvili, must suffer punishment, without exception!" the protesters say.
Public Defender Giorgi Tugushi has remained silent. "Tugushi is spineless man. He prefers to attend a concert of Bocheli rather than to protect the people. This is what the government needed. They have removed Sozar Subari and brought their slave, spineless and stupid - the Public Defender", the protesters claim.
"Stupid doll Khatuna Kalmakhelidze and similar immoral women ministers, gathered by Saakashvili, must leave. Together with the president they are leading the country to ruin. But resignation is not enough: they must respond to all the people and be severely punished", another citizen says.