Public Defender has Addressed the Minister of Corrections of Georgia with Recommendation

Public Defender has addressed the Minister of Corrections of Georgia with recommendation to ensure fulfillment of rights of inmates in Penitentiary Establishment #7.

Within the authority of National Preventive Mechanism, the Office of the Public Defender has conducted a non-scheduled monitoring of Establishment #7. The monitoring has revealed facts of human rights violations towards the inmates of the establishment that require assessment of appropriate agencies, specifically:

Living conditions in the institution are harsh. Small windows that are covered with several layers of heavy bars do not supply sufficient natural lighting and ventilation, and the artificial ventilation system installed in the facility does not ensure adequate circulation of air. Cells on the first floor are very humid and inmates that have suffered tuberculosis are in danger of repeated development of the disease.

Living space in the cells of certain inmates does not comply with standards set by national legislation and the international law.

Space provided for walks in prison yard is very small. It is located between buildings and because of that sunlight and fresh air cannot reach the area in sufficient amounts.

There is not enough furniture in the cells and inmates have to keep their private items and food on the floor and beds.

There is no laundry in the institution and inmates have to wash and dry their clothes and bedding in the cells. According to the inmates they also do not have enough warm clothes.

Inmates are not allowed to have items for shaving and for clipping nails. All shaving and nail-clipping items from the same cell are kept in a single box, in a safe located in the guardroom, together with stationary and other household equipment. This violates hygienic norms and creates danger of spreading contagious diseases.

There is no facility for long-term prisons visits in the Establishment #7. Due to small number of rooms for visits, inmates are unable to meet their lawyers freely and without limitation. According to the inmates, they are not allowed to keep personal correspondence in their cells.

The inmates also note that members of the administration address them in rude and defiant manner. Their statements are supported by a possible fact of beating of two inmates and reinstatement of the director of the institution that presumably took part in the beating.

The inmates explain that even minor offense on their side results in limitation to different services (e.g. telephone calls, correspondence, and parcel). Also they say that printed media is completely inaccessible for them.

There were cases when an inmate with tuberculosis was placed in the same cell with healthy inmates. Also, an individual with life sentence was placed in the same cell with inmates with time-termed sentences, which is a violation of law.

The inmates state that they do not have access to timely and adequate healthcare. The inmates especially complain about artificial protraction of approvals to be taken to civil medical institution for examination and treatment.

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