LET MEDIA AND BOOKS INTO PRISONS!
15 March, 2012
LET MEDIA AND BOOKS INTO PRISONS!

‘Kviris Palitra’ is fighting for the right of charity – Penitentiary department doesn’t allow the ‘Palitra’-L Publishing House to donate the books to the prison libraries. ‘MediaPalitra’ more than once requested the Penitentiary department in this regard but in vain …Instead of giving consent to the legitimate request, they limited bringing to prison not only of books but press as well (!)

First, a mother of a prisoner contacted me and complained that they didn’t let her hand over the issue

of ‘Kviris Palitra’ to a prisoner; then other media means raised howl that newspapers weren’t let in prison. Penitentiary department, of course, refuted it. In order to clarify the situation we, together with ‘Palitra TV went to reformatory No2 in Rustavi where, according to our information, sending in of press is strictly forbidden. A lady whom we encountered at the entrance to reformatory turned out to be mother of a prisoner (she requested us not to divulge her name); she complained that it was already two months since sending in of press was forbidden: ‘before that I used to bring all the magazines and newspapers, including ‘Kviris Palitra’. Last week I also tried to send in the press but they refused. To my mind all this is connected with the coming elections, the administration fears that ‘excessive’ information may agitate the prisoners.’

Madona Kvarelashvili, wife of a prisoner agreed to speak to us: ‘It’s about a year since sending in of press became difficult. For the recent months it’s completely forbidden. They give no reason, it’s forbidden and that’s all’.

Marina Labadze (her husband is serving a sentence for using drugs): ‘It will be good if mass media becomes active so that our prisoners are allowed to have books and newspapers. It seems that the administration fears that the prisoners may find out about the political situation of the country.

At the entrance of reformatory I asked the guard how I could send in the books and he told me to see an administrator who was helping a prisoner’s friends with filling in of a form to transfer a parcel. I wanted to send in newspapers in lieu of my former respondent.

Only newspapers? asked amazed administrator. – For this first you have to address Soso and get permission- she advised.

- Does sending in of newspapers need special permission? – I enquired.

Soso Jugheli is standing on the other side of the fence speaking on the phone (presumably, he has already been informed about the dubious guests) -Do you want to send in newspapers? What’s the problem, do it!- declares he generously.

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