6 former prison staff detained for alleged torture of inmates

The building of the Chief Prosecutor's Office of Georgia in Tbilisi. Photo by Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge
Agenda.ge, 11 May 2017 - 15:22, Tbilisi,Georgia

Six former staff members of the Tbilisi #8 penitential institution have been detained on charges of torturing prisoners on a regular basis.

The former Head of the Legal Division of the same prison who is serving his sentence for separate crimes has also been arraigned for the same case.

The news was announced by the Georgian Chief Prosecutor’s Office today.

The Prosecutor’s Office statement read that an investigation had proved these seven people systematically tortured prisoners for the purpose of obedience in 2011 and 2012.

According to prosecutors, these six former prison staff have been detained:

  • Malkhaz Ghviniashvili
  • Nugzar Marghia
  • Zaza Kharaishvili
  • Vakhtang Gugutsidze
  • Davit Chiklhadze
  • Davit Nozadze

Current prisoner, former Head of the Legal Division of the #8 prison Oleg Patsatsia is also arraigned for the case.

The Chief Prosecutor’s Office said that the detainees used to torture all new prisoners upon their entrance into the prison. The torture, both verbal and physical, would continue later too, "in a systematic manner”.

According to prosecutors, due to the activities of the detainees prisoners were illegally deprived from the right to walk, make a phone call and send and receive letters; they could not receive medical assistance and had their time for rest and sleep limited; prisoners were forced to secretly collaborate with the prison administration and they were frequently tortured using a nightstick and other items.

Apart from physical torture, moral suffering methods were also used, the Chief Prosecutor’s Office said. Prisoners were taken to a morgue and locked there with dead bodies for hours.

Prosecutors said that they questioned up to 600 current and former prisoners and the majority of them confirmed they had been tortured by those detained.

If the court finds these seven men guilty, they will spend up to six years behind bars, according to the Georgian Criminal Code.