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How Do Detainees Live in Disciplinary Cell

sozari.gifYesterday, Public Defender's Office held presentation exposing the violations discovered during the monitoring in the disciplinary cells in the military units.

In December 2006, Public Defender's Office carried out monitoring in the disciplinary cells of the Georgian Defense Ministry. There are six cells in the system in total. They are Disciplinary Cell of Tbilisi-Mtskheta-Mtianeti Region (in Tbilisi), Disciplinary Cell of the Kakheti-Kvemo Kartli Regional Department (in Vaziani), Disciplinary Cell of the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Regional Police Department (in Senaki), Disciplinary Cell of the Adjara Regional Department (in Batumi), Disciplinary Cell of the Samtskhe-Javakheti Regional Department (in Akhalcikhe) and Disciplinary Cell of the Shida Kartli Military Police Department (in Gori).

Sozar Subar, Public defender of Georgia, stated at the presentation that their representatives were not allowed to carry out monitoring in the disciplinary cell of the Senaki Infantry Military Base II. They were not allowed in the area either. "Only in the Vaziani disciplinary cell, the situation was satisfactory. As for the rest four, there is a horrible situation in them. There are not even minimal conditions for a person to live in. It is terribly cold in there. The prisoners have to sleep on the ground. There are no showers and light in the cells. Some of them do not have windows either and they are lit by a little bulb fixed in the corridor. Living in similar situations is torture," said the public defender.

Regarding the recommendations of the Prison's European Regulations of the Ministry Committee within the Council of Europe, section 24, every prisoner should have separate bed and linen. The facts that in the evening boards are taken into the cells in order to lye on them at night, proves that a person cannot normally live in the cells. All aforementioned facts show that the principles of treating prisoners are violated.

According to the UN Minimal Standard Regulations, rule #11, cells in the detention setting, where prisoners live and work, must have windows in order to read and work. In addition to that, every cell must have electric light.

However, the monitoring showed that no norms of these recommendations are met in Georgian disciplinary cells.

Despite such inhuman conditions, soldiers avoid speaking about their rights violated. They are afraid to complicate their situation in military units and do not want to have problems with other soldiers and officers.

Sozar Subar declared that regarding the situation, he applied to the Georgian Defense Minister under Georgian Organic Law of the Public Defender, to take measures to improve the horrible situation in the disciplinary cells in Georgia.

Nino Tarkhnishvili, Tbilisi


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