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Torture Continues – New Government, Old Methods

06.06.2004
   


Torture Continues – New Government, Old Methods

There is currently no condition existing in Georgia to protect the fundamental rights of humans. The most alarming is the increasing number of citizens’ torture that can be observed recently. Messrs G. L. and V. K. were detained by police and forced to confess to the robbery of a flat. To this end they were severely tortured, especially Mr Lobzhanidze who was unable to endure the torture and bit through his tongue. None of the perpetrators was tried and the victims prefer to keep silent because of their fear and distrust of the legal system.  At the present moment L. and K. are serving three  months of pre-detention in  Prison No. 5.

On 22 April 2004 in Tbilisi, at the entrance of the 5th block of Digomi district, Messrs L.,  K. and a friend were attacked by five or six gunmen who beat them and took them to the Police Department of Didube-Chugureti region. The aggressors, who beat them brutally by kicking them with their feet and beating them with the butts of hand guns, turned out to be policemen. These officials claimed that this operation was carried out on the basis of some operative information which they received. The men were detained and then ordered to confess to the robbery of the flat.  When they refused, L. and K. were taken to the Tbilisi Main Office of the Internal affairs were they were subjected to further torture by electric wires.

The details of the robbery of which Messrs L. and K. were accused, took place in block five of Digomi district. According to Mr L.’s lawyer, the detainees were not found to have stolen anything nor were they in the possession of any weapon. The suspects pleaded not guilty, for which they were tortured firstly in the Didube-Chugureti region police station and afterwards in the Tbilisi Main Office of the Internal Affairs.

According to the lawyer for the acused, two electric wires were simultaneously connected to the toes of both feet which had been drenched with water. Mr L. said that he felt his whole body tremble and then shrink. His ears were also connected with wires during which he felt his sight grow dim and distorted. After he lost consciousness he was brought to his senses by spirit of hartshorn. Following this, he was forced to write a confession using his right hand which provided further difficulties for Mr L. who is left-handed.

Because of the unbearable pain he endured, he bit through his tongue and, then, could not move his tongue, speak properly or eat for the next five days. In addition, he was provided with no medical care after having been taken to prison. His lawyer, Mr Zurab Rostiashvili, reports that Mr L. was unable to give evidence in his defence because he was tortured and could not speak, providing, instead explanations to his counsel only by gestures and sounds from his closed mouth.

The conclusion made by the court-medical expert, Ms Maia Nikoleishvili who examined the victim for evidence of torture on 27 April 2004 at the request of the lawyer, disclosed that all the injuries to the body of Mr L. must have been inflicted in the circumstances that the detainee himself described.

The report of Ms Nikoleishvili indicated further that Messrs L. and K. had been injured by the brunt of a solid and blunt object. As well, the trace of an electric wire was also detected in the area of Mr K.s ear.

According to the above-mentioned details, the victims of this torture prefer to keep silent because of the absence of security warrants from the state. They are afraid and declare distrust to the defenders of the law because they violate the law themselves and no one makes them responsible for this.

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