Chief Prosecutor’s Office: 60 people charged for torturing prisoners under ex-gov’t

The Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia said charges were laid against 60 people for torturing prisoners during the former UNM-led government. Photo by, 18 Aug 2016 - 12:35, Tbilisi,Georgia

Dozens of people tortured, assaulted and committed inhumane treatment of prisoners in the years of the ex-government, says the Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia.

In recent years 60 people, including high-ranking prison officials, were charged with serious misconduct in relation to prisoners for incidents that happened under the United National Movement (UNM)-led government.

Of these 42 were found guilty, said the Prosecutor’s Office in a special statement released yesterday.

The statement came after joint comments by several local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who said all those who were responsible for committing atrocities such as rape, torture and other inhumane treatment to prisoners, should be severely punished.

The NGOs alleged the recent internet leak of videos showing torture and the private lives of individuals was because those who committed the illegalities still remained unpunished. 

Responding to this allegation, the Prosecutor’s Office said it had identified those in the video who had committed torture and other heinous acts, while an investigation was now underway to identify those responsible for taping, possessing and uploading the footage to the internet.

A series of videos reflecting torture and inhumane treatment in Georgian prisons were released before the October 2012 Parliamentary Election, in which Georgian Dream (GD) coalition defeated the nine-year rule of United National Movement (UNM).

In late 2012  and 2013 after the elections and the change of government, GD seized and destroyed hundreds of videos recorded during the previous leadership that showed the private lives of members of the public as well as inhumane treatment and torture or prisoners. 

Since 2012 the Chief Prosecutor’s Office said it had received thousands of complaints by alleged victims of inhumane treatment under UNM leadership. Each allegation was investigated.