Public Defender Appeals against General Restrictions on the Use of Hotline to Constitutional Court
On 7 August 2019, the Public Defender of Georgia filed a constitutional lawsuit with the Constitutional Court of Georgia requesting that persons in penitentiary institutions be exempted from the general restrictions imposed on the use of the Public Defender's hotline. In particular, all restrictions imposed on prisoners in relation to the use of phones generally in prison blanketly applies to the use of Public Defender's hotline as well.
The purpose of the Public Defender's hotline is to receive information about alleged violations of human rights and freedoms by state (public) institutions/bodies, in particular the cases of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, for 24 hours a day, including during non-working hours and days; as well as to promote the implementation and functioning of an effective response mechanism; to increase the quality of provision of information and proactive response to the alleged violations of human rights and freedoms. The field of operation of the Public Defender's hotline mainly covers the violations of human rights and freedoms, such as torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, danger of deprivation of life, danger of infliction of damage to health and other significant violations of rights and freedoms.
Therefore, we believe that both the prevention of ill-treatment and effective response to such cases will be greatly increased if only minimum necessary, technical (limited number of telephones, etc.) or other restrictions conditioned by the administrative needs are imposed on the use of the hotline by prisoners.