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Political prisoners raise the alarm from Georgian prisons

08.12.2009  |  22:55

4804.jpegToday, 35 prisoners of Georgia, whose arrest was politically grounded, have embarked on hunger strike. This fact was confirmed to GeorgiaTimes by attorney Gela Nikoleishvili. Meanwhile, All-Georgia Human Rights Association appealed to international human rights defenders, calling to influence the Georgian jurisdiction. Persecution of the families of Gamsakhurdia, Beselia and other unwanted people goes on.


On the International Human Rights Protection Day celebrated on December 10, Georgia is going to face an embarrassing situation. The Georgian government managed to "polish" certain fields in a modern way; still, it keeps using backward methods of punishing political opponents.

Today, 35 prisoners in various prisons of Georgia started a warning hunger strike. They have made applications to the prison administration; however, not all of these applications have been accepted. For example, administration of the second zone of Rustavi prison refused to register the prisoners' strike.

This was reported to Georgia Times by member of non-governmental organization Former Political Prisoners For Human Rights attorney Gela Nikoleishvili. He underlined that the hunger strike is associated with the International Human Rights Protection Day which is celebrated on December 10.

According to Nikoleishvili, the only thing that the prisoners demand is the opportunity to meet with the experts of Council of Europe.

The point is that this spring, the Europeans studied 19 cases reported by the Georgian human rights defenders. 8 people were recognized as political prisoners on the international level. Council of Europe recommended the Georgian government to reconsider their cases. However, only three people from the list were released: one because his sentence expired and the other two because of the president's order of pardon, after which the prisoners never applied, Nikoleishvili pointed out.

Since this spring, 16 people out of the whole number of prisoners have been released, which number, according to the opposition, has reached 65 people.

Yesterday, on December 7, information on 50 cases that are easily seen through was delivered by some of the oppositional parties to representatives of the embassies accredited in Georgia. The meeting with the diplomats took place in Dzveli Metekhi hotel.

As was stated by conservative Kakha Kukava, the opposition is asking the international observers to join the court hearings monitoring. "We hope that together with the diplomatic corps, we will be able to hold control over the hearings", - he stated.

According to him, the non-parliament opposition will accompany the court sessions with the meetings. An action will take place on December 9 in Kutaisi, where judicial examination of the case of Vladimir Vakhania, a Russian, is going to be started soon. A meeting is going to be held on December 10 in Batumi, where the case of Secretary General of the oppositional Movement for United Georgia Eka Beselia's family is being heard. Another meeting is going to be held on December 11 in Tbilisi, where the "Mukhrovani mutinee" case is being considered.

Political judges require thorough watch and care: they often ignore obvious proof in favor of the accused. The latest example is the hearing of the case of Eka Beselia's brother Sergo and son Rati Milorava, as well as their two friends. They are accused of disorderly conduct and resistance to police during a scuffle in Elza bar and may be sentenced to 4-7 years of imprisonment.

As GеоrgiaTimes was told by one of the leaders of Conservative Party Bidzina Gudzhabidze, during the first court session in Batumi, the judge took a recess until five o'clock in the evening and then continued the process an hour earlier; thus, some of the hearers mostly supporting the opposition simply could not get into the court room.

A detailed report on continuation of the hearings was published by one of the human rights websites of Georgia. During the interrogation one of the victims, policeman Dato Arveladze declared that he could remember the details. However, when the attorneys started asking clarification questions, he answered with learned phrases and avoided direct response.

The attorney noticed that the answers were prompted by prosecutor Zviad Pkhakadze. However, the judge rejected the motion to dismiss the prosecutor. The defense failed to assert the right to record such facts on video; the judge only allowed making an audio record.

Dato Arveladze acknowledged that he did not explain the rights to the detainees. Neither could he comment upon why the custody record was not made at the scene of the accident. The second victim of disorderly behavior inspector Avtandil Turmanidze stated that it was impossible under the circumstances. Still, he could not explain why the record was not made as soon as the detainees were put into the patrol car.


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