Kote Kemularia Cancels the Prison Monitoring Council
25.11.2005, “Media News” – The Minister of Justice Konstantine Kemularia calls the existence of a monitoring council for penitential departments “nonsense” and supports a plan for canceling it.
In a new initiative, the Minister of Justice intends new civil monitoring councils to be elected after the reforms, which will check the penitential system. A new monitoring body will be built and regulated by the ‘Law on Prisoners’.
According to the new module, each monitoring council will be established in each body of the penitential system and will be responsible for monitoring that body only.
By now, the only civil monitoring council consists of 21 NGO members, who have the right to enter every jail without obstacles. However, most of the members of the council only visit prisons located in Tbilisi.
Kemularia finds that civil involvement of society might lead to a successful reform of the penitential system. The Ministry of Justice supports the idea of establishing civil monitoring councils in Tbilisi, Batumi, Rustavi, Zugdidi and Kutaisi, who will defend prisoner’s rights and monitor their conditions in the jails.
Tea Tutberidze, head of the Monitoring Council of the Penitential System, calls the intention of Kemularia canceling the council “unserious”.
“Kemularia does not have the right to cancel the council, because it is established by the President. I am sure, his announcement will be followed by an acute reaction from corresponding bodies,” – said Tutberidze.