From Georgian Prison to International Scandal
29 September, 2011
From Georgian Prison to International Scandal

MP demands quick reaction

The imprisoned Israeli businessman Roni Fuks is being subjected to physical and psychological pressure. The Israeli Embassy made an extraordinary statement about it several days ago. MP Dimitri Lortkipanidze fears that the incident may lead to fallout between the two countries.

According to Archil Kbilashvili, Fuks’s lawyer, on 17 September, at 2am, when Fuks was asleep, four men in black uniforms entered his cell, forced him to get up and while he was wearing only his

pants, stand to the wall facing it. They ordered him to raise hands and stand still in this way for half an hour.
“The men scattered his private and religious items, medications and books around the floor and left the cell 30 minutes later,” – stated the lawyer. He added that similar events occurred two times on 18 September and three times on 19 September. On top of it, the prisoner was precluded from walking in the yard, talking; he was refused the diabetic food and blocked from taking shower. The lawyer says that the international community, NGO sector and diplomats were informed about the situation.
The Israeli Embassy published the statement, in which it expressed its disturbance regarding the harsh and inadequate treatment of Israeli citizens Roni Fuks and Zeev Frenkel in the Georgian prison. As the embassy noted, they sent protest notes to Georgian Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Probation and Legal Assistance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Public Defender’s Office of Georgia. These Georgian Governmental bodies have not commented on the issue so far. Public Defender Giorgi Tughushi asserted that if violations of the Roni Fuks’s rights were confirmed, he would react accordingly. Giorgi Tughushi reported also that his representatives did visit Fuks in the prison and talked with him in private.
‘The prisoner indicated that late night cell checkups did take place. The law enforcers entered and started to examine the cell. During the examination, he was made to stand in front of the wall facing it for quite a while. Fuks also pointed at certain problems related to food and other things. There are certain circumstances worth of additional investigation on our part. If specific facts of violation are confirmed, we will react accordingly. There was a talk about daily cell checkups for three days in a row, when he was sleeping in the bed. This is suspicious because it’s not normal. Perhaps, such checks do not violate any law but obviously they generate suspicion. We must find out if such checks occurred only in that particular cell or in the entire prison,” – says Giorgi Tughushi.
MP Dimitri Lortkipanidze thinks that the Parliament has to interfere: “Mr. Roni Fuks is an Israeli citizen. The Israeli Ambassador is dissatisfied with the happenings in the Ksani prison. These facts may cause an inter-governmental scandal. There are clear pre-requisites for it. I believe it is high time for the Georgian Parliament to allow an opposition representative enter the prison and meet the prisoner to hear everything directly from him in private,” – says Lortkipanidze. Accordingly, he asks the Chair of the Parliament to entitle him to visit the prisoner. Till today there hasn’t been observed a fact when the Chair of the Parliament had satisfied similar request of the opposition.


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