We, the signatory organizations, express concern about the decision of the Ministry of Corrections and Probation with regard to Police Colonel Irakli Pirtskhalava, a defendant in the case of the so-called "special operation at tennis courts”, as a result of which the defendant was transferred from Penal Institution No. 9 to the Gldani Penal Institution No. 8.
According to news reports, other prisoners in the Gldani Institution No. 8 exerted pressure on the defendant by swearing at him, threatening him, and making unbearable noise, which should be assessed as inhuman treatment of the prisoner. There are also reports that, despite several demands of the defendant, representatives of the National Preventive Mechanism failed to meet him.
We consider it inadmissible to place a defendant who is a former police officer in a penal institution which houses prisoners with a criminal record. Such a decision not only infringes on the defendant’s rights, but also strengthens the criminal underworld and their influence in penal institutions.
Due to the aforementioned, we call on the Minister of Corrections and Probation to immediately ensure that I. Pirtskhalava is transferred to a penal institution where other prisoners will not exert pressure on him and will not treat him inhumanly.
At the same time, we call on the National Preventive Mechanism to pay visits to the penal institutions proactively, visit the defendant, and respond appropriately to the violation of his rights.
Georgian Democracy Initiative (GDI)
Media Development Foundation (MDF)
Tolerance and Diversity Institute (TDI)