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Black PR on political prisoners21.03.2013 | 12:25
Since the beginning of the year, in Georgia, over 8300 prisoners were released under the amnesty and Mikheil Saakashvili's mercy. Georgia has never seen such a massive total mercifulness. Among them there are 190 political prisoners. The very fact is humane. The obvious question arises: why certain prisoners were amnestied, whether they had a secret or open defender, and was this made absolutely disinterestedly?
First I felt the level of suspicion of the population at a gas station when I heard the owner of the private car asked to fill petrol only at 10 GEL, and half in jest, half in earnest added: "But why should I leave the extra fuel in the tank, to be stolen? That much will be enough for today". This is seemingly harmless joke, but still ...
About 150 amnestied and pardoned former prisoners have already committed repeat offenses. This was announced on Monday by the Interior Minister Irakli Garibashvili at a meeting with the media.
"About 150 amnestied and pardoned former prisoners were again brought to responsibility. Of them, 80 were granted amnesty, others were pardoned by the president. We are working in this direction and we want the people not to commit crimes", said the head of the Interior Ministry.
At the same time Garibashvili warned all those released under the large-scale amnesty that in the event of re-offense, they will be punished for all the rigor of the law. "Any attempt to commit a crime will be investigated, and they will be severely punished. I do not advise them to return to prison," - said the Minister.
150 re-offenders out of 8300 former prisoners - is it much or not? Nana Kakabadze, the head of the "Former Political Prisoners for Human Rights", said in an interview to GTimes that in any country repeat offenses are taking place after such large-scale amnesty. "This trend is observed not only among those who were released under the amnesty, but also among those who have fully served sentence and were released". The process of adaptation of the former prisoners in a free society is always difficult.
Davit Sakvarelidze, representative of the parliamentary minority, believes that the lists of prisoners released were biased. Could this be the reason that the crime situation in the country has become tense? The MP believes that certain people receive cash rewards for each name in the list. However, he is cautious in his statement, referring to the society. At the meeting of the Interior Minister Irakli Garibashvili with representatives of the parliamentary minority Sakvarelidze said that the society believes that the compilation of the lists was not impartial and demands to investigate the role of the human rights activist Nana Kakabadze in these processes. The MP does not name the source of the dissatisfaction and does not indicate any names. But Interior Minister took Sakvarelidze's words seriously and said it was necessary to determine whether someone has been included in the list of political prisoners for money.
Defender Nana Kakabadze lively responds. "I've heard Davit Sakvarelidze, who is now hiding behind the deputy's mandate and allows himself brazen statements", says Kakabadse. "He repeats what he said. I was surprised at the answer of the Minister, since I was waiting for a more qualified answer. But the "National Movement" speaks on this question specifically. During all this time they have failed to provide a single concrete fact to prove his words. I do not understand, what is the reason of the investigation, rumors? Is there someone who says that he took the money? I understand the position of the "Nationals" in my address, since I actively call for their punishment. I do not understand the position of Garibashvili: what he thought about when giving such an answer. I am far from the view that he did not know about these processes. This was not the right answer. Minister had to respond differently. But I think that such a Minister is still better than his predecessor Merabishvili", said Kakabadze.
We decided to find out why her name appears in this case.
- Did you participate in the compilation of the lists of prisoners released under the amnesty? Or, to put it another way, how many prisoners were pardoned personally at your initiative?
- At first, a little clarification: we are talking about political prisoners. Second, nothing could happen at my initiative. In 2007-2008, there was established a commission consisting of several non-governmental organizations, which included our organization. And the list appeared as a result of discussion. When the coalition of Bidzina Ivanishvili came to power, they decided to consider our lists, and the Parliamentary Human Rights Committee approved the names. That's how it all happens.
- How many prisoners these lists included?
- 190 political prisoners were released. But one of them, unfortunately, died of the torture on the second day.
- How do you feel about Sakvarelidze's statement that the names were put in the list for monetary rewards?
- I have only one answer - this is black PR. What evidence do they have? Let them present us the facts.
- Why are you so surprised at the intention of the Interior Minister to investigate the case and identify the perpetrators?
- The investigation begins on the basis of specific facts, not on rumors. And besides rumors they have nothing.