Strasbourg, 31.07.2013 – The Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention
of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) has published
today the report on its November 2012 ad hoc
visit to Georgia, together with the Georgian authorities’
High-level talks held during the CPT’s visit mainly focused on the effectiveness of criminal investigations launched following the publication, on 18 September 2012, of video material containing scenes of apparent serious ill-treatment of prisoners by staff in certain penitentiary establishments. The legislative, administrative and other steps being taken (and planned) by the Georgian authorities in respect of the country’s prison system were also discussed. In its report, the CPT welcomes the wide-scale prison amnesty, while stressing that the problems of prison overcrowding and prison population inflation cannot be addressed in a comprehensive and lasting way through the use of such exceptional measures; a strategy for the sustainable reduction of the prison population should include a variety of steps to ensure that imprisonment really is the measure of last resort. The CPT has also made several recommendations concerning the two prisons visited by the delegation (in Gldani and Kutaisi) and on other issues related with the prison system, especially the prison health-care services.
In their response, the Georgian authorities provide information on the progress and outcome of the above-mentioned criminal investigations as well as on measures being taken to reform the Georgian prison system. Those measures include steps to further reduce the prison population, renovate existing prisons and build new establishments, develop the programmes of activities for both sentenced and remand prisoners, and improve prison staff training. The response also contains information on the Strategy and Action Plan for Prison Health-care Reform for the period 2013 – 2014.
The CPT’s report and the response have been published at the request of the Georgian authorities and are available on the Committee’s website (http://www.cpt.coe.int).