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Torture Continues – New Government, Old Methods

28.05.2004

Torture Continues – New Government, Old Methods

Police officers detained 40 year-old Khvicha Kvirikashvili, charging him with committing a burglary on May 22. According to the police officers, they interrogated Kvirikashvili in the third department of the Gldani-Nadzaladevi police offices, released him after giving him a receipt. However, the next day they continued his interrogation.

On May 23, police officers took Kvirikashvili home in a taxi, and after 25 minutes he died. Kvirikashvili had multiple injuries on his body. It is believed that police tortured him. The investigation is on-going.

This is the second tiem since the “Rose Revolution” that a person has died shortly after being in  police custody. On December 19, 40 year-old Giorgi Inasaridze committed suicide while detained in the pre-trial isolator of the Interior Ministry. He was allegedly a drug addict. The police took him to a drug dispensary and released him the same day after giving him a receipt, but the next day police again called him in for questioning at the Interior Ministry.

According to an expert’s testimony, he was a drug addict, and the Didube-Chugureti court sentenced him to ten days in pre-detention. Police then put Inasaridze in a temporary detention isolator, and the next day he was found hung.

The Human Rights Information and Documentation Center voices its concern regarding the frequency of torture, and cruel and inhuman punishment. The facts the Center has observed show an appalling increase in the frequency of cases of torture, and yet the government does nothing to correct the problem. The Interior Ministry still operates as it did during Soviet times, and no reforms have been implemented within it.

The Human Rights Information and Documentation Center condemns these acts, and demands that the Georgian Government punish the perpetrators.

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