PM hails “major improvements” in domestic penitentiary system at Tbilisi int’l conference

The PM said Georgian Dream authorities had managed to “transform the country into a truly democratic state” from the legacy. Photo: Government press office, 01 Nov 2023 - 13:00, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Wednesday hailed “major changes and improvements” ensured by the current Government in the domestic penitentiary system over the past 10 years in comments at an international conference on the topic, hosted in Tbilisi for the first time. 

Addressing the Conference on Innovations in the Rehabilitation and Resocialisation Process of Inmates and Probationers, bringing together professionals from over 20 countries, domestic officials, public servants and non-governmental organisations, the PM pointed to the “heavy legacy” in the prison system following the previous United National Movement Government. 

He claimed the Georgian Dream authorities had managed to “transform the country into a truly democratic state” from the legacy. 

The progress Georgia has achieved in recent years for consolidation of democracy and the protection of human rights is clearly the result of the fundamental reforms implemented in the country”, Garibashvili said, and added the country had faced “serious challenges” under UNM in rule of law and protection of human rights, “especially in the form of systematic practices of torture and inhumane treatment in prisons”. 

Speaking about the achievements ensured by the current authorities, the head of the Government said their “clearest indicator” was the statistics of the European Court of Human Rights, which he said had received “no complaints” from the country’s penitentiary since 2012. 

This confirms the highest standard of protection of prisoners' rights inside the country”, Garibashvili noted. 

He further added the total number of cases against Georgia in the Court had also decreased “dramatically” from 3,000 in 2011 to 147 in 2023, and highlighted the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index had ranked the country the first in Eastern Europe and Central Asia in its 2023 report.