The Georgian Public Defender’s Office (PDO) said on August 29, that conditions of inmates serving their jail term in prison no.2 in Kutaisi, western Georgia, had “deteriorated significantly” recently.
PDO said in a statement, that as part of monitoring of penitentiary centers located in the western region of Imereti this summer, its monitors spoke with about 600 inmates of Kutaisi prison with majority of them reporting about “abusive and humiliating” treatment from the side of the prison administration.
Total of 1,451 inmates are servicing their jail term in the Kutaisi prison.
PDO said in case of a violation of prison’s internal rules, instead of sending an inmate to a special one-person cell, a prisoner is forced to spend from three to 24 hours barefoot and almost naked in an about six square meter empty cell, dubbed as “box”. In another form of punishment prisoners are forced to spend from one to two hours kneeled down with hands behind head, according to the Public Defender’s Office.
It called on the minister in charge of the prison system, Khatuna Kalmakhelidze, “to immediately take appropriate measures to secure protection of prisoners rights” in the Kutaisi prison and also called to hold responsible those prison officials who mistreat inmates.
In contrast to the Kutaisi prison, the Public Defender’s Office said, conditions in a prison in Geguti also in the Imereti region are much better with inmates reporting about the prison chief’s efforts to address their problems.
The Public Defender said that the Geguti jail with 2,693 prisoners “is the only penitentiary center” where those inmates who have to spend some time in one-person cell as a punishment for violation of prison rules, have an access to bathroom and are also given the right to walk out of cell walls and to have personal hygiene stuff.