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Georgia exporting death2011-08-23 13:26
People continue dying in over-stuffed Georgian prisons. 26 people died in the first quarter of last year, the figure having reached 38 people now. No wonder: according to independent reports, prisoners are treated brutally. People's Defender Giorgy Tugushi has been trying to draw the authorities' attention to the problem for several months but his attempts shatter against the thick shell of Mikhail Saakashvili's police regime.
A sharp growth of death rate among Georgian prisoners was stated by Tugushi in spring in his annual report on the state of human rights and freedoms defense in the country. According to the document, in the period of 2006-2010, at least 513 prisoners died in the republic, the figure reaching its peak last year (142 dead). "About 56 percent of mortality falls on city hospitals, about 30 percent on medical facilities for the accused and convicts and nearly 25 percent of deaths was recorded in various correctional institutions", - Tugushi underlined. Bad ideas start creeping into your mind when you read that more than a half of prisoners have died in common hospitals. Someone evidently wanted to divert suspicion from prisons. The same idea came to the ombudsman's mind.
Tugushi supposed that the incurable invalids were sent to civil hospitals to die. He called it "export of death".
The parliament of the republic promised to study the report thoroughly but the situation has got worse since then. At the beginning of August, a number of non-government organizations called on Ministry for the Execution of Penalties, Probation and Legal Assistance of Georgia to take all the necessary measures to ensure better ventilation in prison facilities. It was required to reconsider the living conditions in the places of confinement because of the abnormally hot weather in the country. According to NGO representatives, prisoners with vascular heart diseases are in a critical state. "The state must take all possible measures and supply the places of confinement with everything necessary to maintain a normal temperature regime and to eliminate any threat to prisoners' life and health", - the address goes.