The Public Defender of Georgia addressed the Ministry of Corrections regarding situation of prisoners in penitentiary establishment N7
On December 12, the Public Defender of Georgia addressed the Minister of Corrections with a proposal and requested protection of health, ensuring safety and provision of dignified conditions for prisoners placed in the penitentiary establishment N7 – G. K., N.M., G.B. and G.B.
Since December 2, 2014, representatives of the Public Defender have many times met and spoke with convicts who are on hunger strike in the penitentiary department N7 - G. K., N.M., G.B. and G.B.
Protocols drawn up during the meetings, explanations and documentations that were requested from the establishment confirm that starting from November 28, 2014, the above-mentioned four individuals, started a hunger strike on different days while in the same period G. K., N.M. and G.B. inflicted numerous self-wounds.
Protocols drawn up during conversations with the convicts confirm that such forms of protest by them was due to unbearable living conditions in the penitentiary establishment N7 (they did not have a right to a walk, possibility to wash their clothes, etc), to practice of removal of personal things from convicts, imposing disproportionally high disciplinary penalties that, in their words, were constantly in use in the establishment and aimed at exercising psychological pressure on them. Convict G. K. also stated that prison workers were asking him to take back complaints that concerned investigation of facts of inhuman treatment he was subjected to in penitentiary establishments N8 and N2.
As a result of examination of a cell (where G.K. and N. M. were placed) by representatives of the Public Defender it was determined that in a cell toilet there was no bulb installed while natural lighting was not satisfactory. Walls and doors of the cell bore traces of blood. According to convicts, the above-mentioned traces were result of self-harming. There was unhygienic conditions in the cell, despite the ventilation system functioning properly strong smell was felt, walls were dump and dirty, a cell window did not have a glass and that fact despite the existence of central heating, was causing cold in the cell. According to the convicts, prison staff refused to clean the cell. Also, they were not providing necessary equipment. In the words of convict G. K., on November 28, water supply to the cell was cut off for three days.
on December 12, 2014, following examination of their explanations and conditions existing in the cell, materials of the above-mentioned four convicts, the Public Defender addressed the Minister of Corrections with a proposal and requested conduction of all necessary measures for improvement of conditions of imprisonment in the penitentiary establishment N7 until inmates placed in the establishment are not completely transferred to other relevant penitentiary establishments.
Additionally, the Public Defender requested that the Ministry of Corrections takes every measure at their disposal in order to ensure protection of health and safety and decent conditions for convicts G. K., N.M., G.B. and G. B.
The Public Defender of Georgia also addressed the Ministry of Corrections with a request to provide relevant instructions for directors of penitentiary establishments so that they, in accordance with the Georgian legislation, provide comprehensive examination of circumstances essential for disciplinary proceedings and making a decision that is in line with the legislation in every concrete case.