Hundreds of people held a spontaneous protest in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi early on Wednesday following late night news bulletins purportedly showing the torture and abuse of prisoners in a local jail.
One part of the footage shows male prisoners being raped with a police baton.
Protesters waved posters with the words “Rape me” and called for the resignation of country’s heads of interior and justice.
The government says the videos were staged. One version of events claimed that guards had been bribed to carry out the abuse.
But human rights groups maintain the practice is widespread in Georgia.
“This is not the first fact of torture in prisons. Only in last year’s report there are 140 different cases identified of torture or mishandling of prisoners. So this is really a continuation of a tendency and a really horrendous continuation of a tendency,” said Shorena Shaverdashvili, the Editor-in-Chief of Liberali magazine.
Georgia’s probation minister has resigned and 10 senior managers of the country’s prison system have been arrested
President Mikheil Saakashvili promised that the rights of prisoners will be better safeguarded in the future.
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