Human Rights Inspectors to be Allowed to Photograph Prisons

From next year the Georgian Government will allow the Public Defender’s Office to take pictures inside prisons.

This allows photographic evidence to be obtained in cases of suspicion, abuse or questionable sanitary conditions.

On Monday the Minister of Penitentiary systems, Kakha Kakhishvili called the decision ‘revolutionary’ commenting “Georgia’s prison system has been surrounded by controversy, as the Saakashvili government filled up the prisons under ducious judicial safeguards while western experts sought to reform the increasingly overcrowded facilities.”

According to Kakhishvili, the Public Defenders had the task of looking into the many horror stories emerging through family and friends of inmates and criticized conditions although facts were often disputed and access was limited.

Kakhishvili told journalists that on a legislative level the required amendments have been passed and the Ministry is currently preparing the rules for taking photographs inside its facilities.

He stated that the new photo rules will be operational from 2016 and that “representatives of the Public Defender’s Office will be allowed to take pictures if a prisoner has bodily injuries, or to document the hygienic conditions inside jails.”

The minister underlined that the regulation would need to be refined in such a way that photos are not used for ‘pointless PR’.

14 October 2015 15:21