JAILED PRESS
28 June, 2012
JAILED PRESS

‘Prisoners are taken for animals’

The administration is selflessly trying to control media. It knows enough about the strength of objective information and thus, seemingly, especially before the elections, an urgent matter for the authorities is to close all the information gaps.

 

According to the Georgian legislation, the prisoners have the right to vote; for this reason, the prisoners who are in unbearable conditions in Georgian prisons and moreover, the informed ones, pose double threat for the administration during the election period.

Some time ago sending in of newspapers and magazines in prisons was unofficially but categorically forbidden. The prisoners complain that if several months ago it was possible to buy different magazines and newspapers in the prison stores, now even their friends and relatives can’t manage to send in popular or political publications. Suffice it to say that when a foreign delegation visits the prison, momentarily, for them to observe, complete assortment of printed press appears in the stores… but of course, the prisoners are not allowed to buy them.

Former prisoner: - Kalmakhelidze’s style is already known to everybody – simply lies and eyewash while actually the prisoners are in dire condition; throughout the entire penitentiary system they are treated as non-human beings, animals…

We got interested in the motif of banning the newspapers and magazines in prison and for the explanation we contacted the press-service of penitentiary system. Tea Sukhishvili, head of press-service, first asked for some time to study the issue. Later she said that press is delivered to prisons without any hindrances.

Tea Sukhishvili: ‘Any book or newspaper or magazine is brought in the prison’ (?!)

Although the Penitentiary Ministry reiterates that press is deliverd to prison without any hindrance, we had different information at our disposal and armed with hidden camera, newspapers and magazines, we came to Gldani prison. We picked out the prison which, compared with other Georgian jails, has the best conditions; namely, we went to the prison located in Ortachala. The inmates there serve their sentences for light offences. Due to better conditions, the prison is called ‘Eden’. We wondered whether the press was allowed in ‘Eden’.

When we came there loaded with our newspapers and magazines, we were told that only sports, religious magazines and crosswords were allowed. One of the staff told us that previously newspapers were sold in prison store but now the press is brought in from outside and besides, they mustn’t be politically oriented.

We found out that the only vent light through which books, newspapers and magazines were delivered to Georgian prison was ‘Georgian Post’ and we went there. As for taking the books, the Post employee consented easily to delver them but when we touched upon the issue of press, she refused categorically, saying that sending press in prison was banned (?!)

I did my best to obtain an official document, forbidding sending in press in prison but in vain, because no such document exists in Georgia.

Vasil Tetruashvili, an employee of one of the press distribution agencies: ‘Earlier the tender on distribution of press in prison was won by ‘Mega food’ company. We had a contract with them and press was distributed throughout prisons without any problem. Later on, at first, they began selective distribution, actually banning so called political press. After the agreement term expired, they broke cooperation on the pretext that allegedly we were unable to supply the stores with press. Of course it’s an absurd. Nowadays the company that supplies the prison stores with different products, has a contract on taking press in prison through ‘Georgian Post’.

Is there a law or enactment banning press in prisons? We asked the question via the ’Georgian Post’ hot line but this organization turned out to be so ‘militarized’ that we couldn’t get a comment. They said they couldn’t answer because it was beyond their competence. We were denied the contact with the press service because they were busy, but later (when we requested to connect  us to their bosses) they replied, it was impossible, because the working hours were over.

Print
Other Stories
Russian FM Calls Georgian Journalists "SICK"
The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, called the Georgian Journalists in Geneva "Sick"
Estonian MP Marko Mihkelson discuses Georgia’s politics with Georgian Journal
How do the current political processes in Georgia look like from the perspective of one of the main friends of this country, Estonia? Are Georgia's foreign goals relevant to its European and Western counterparts?
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia Publishes an Article in The Washington Times
The Washington Times publishes the article of Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia titled "Georgia deserves membership in NATO."
99 years After the Soviet Occupation of Georgia
On February 25, 1921, Tbilisi was occupied by the 11th Red Army and Georgia became a part of the Russian Soviet Empire
Letter of the Georgian People to the Free World
The citizens of Georgia have written a letter to the West, appealing for help in defending the freedom of Georgian people
Georgia marks two years since the tragic death of Archil Tatunashvili
Today Georgia marks two years since the tragic death of Archil Tatunashvili.
Russia Denies Cyber-Attack Against Georgia
Russian Foreign Ministry has denied the allegations that it carried out a cyber-attack against Georgi
Lasha Talakhadze Wins the Best Male Lifter Title
Georgian weightlifter Lasha Talakhadze has earned his third straight title of the Best Male Lifter in an International Weightlifting Federation poll
European Countries, US and UK Condemn Russian Cyber-Attack Against Georgia
The UK, Georgia and international partners have exposed the GRU’s – Russia’s military intelligence service – responsibility for a number of significant cyber-attacks against Georgia
Georgia puts blame on Russia over last October's cyberattack
On 28 October, a large scale cyber-attack was carried out by Main Division of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia.
SFRC Staff Director Meets With Georgian Officials
The United States Embassy twitted on its official page that the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Staff Director Chris Socha visited Georgia
Former Minister of Internal Affairs Vano Merabishvili Left the Prison Today
Former Minister of Internal Affairs Vano Merabishvili left so-called “Matrosov Prison” today
Georgia's former Interior and Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili to leave prison today
Former Minister of Internal Affairs Vano Merabishvili will leave so-called “Matrosov Prison” after 7 years of imprisonment. His jail term expires on February 20.
President Zourabichvili Calling on the International Community to React to Tskhinvali Situation
The President has called on the international community to react to the dire human rights situation in the Tskhinvali region
Georgian Leaders Express Concern Over Russia-backed attack in Eastern Ukraine
On February 18, Ukrainian Ambassador to the European Union Mykola Tochytskyi has informed the EU about the new Russian attack in Donbas
Former President Margvelashvili Returning to Politics
Former President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili says he is returning to active politics
US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper thanks Georgia for many contributions to global security
US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has responded to the meeting with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia at the 56th Munich Security Conference on Twitter.
Shadow Boss- Bloomberg about Ivanishvili
Earlier this month the law firm of Hogan Lovells signed a $ 75, 000 a month contract to represent the Georgian Dream party which Ivanishvili founded in 2012 and runs to this day.
Putin attempts to restore Moscow's power over the former Soviet republics - The Washington Post
VLADIMIR PUTIN has spent much of his two decades in power attempting to restore Moscow’s rule over former republics of the Soviet Union.
Statement by Leading MEPs on Gigi Ugulava's Case
The ruling of the Supreme Court in the case of Mr. Ugulava raises questions regarding the procedure, timing and motivation of the decision, MEPs said in a joint statement.
President Meets Ambassadors
The President reiterates her full readiness to get engaged in political dialogue and reconciliation processes
Embassies and Politicians commenting on Gigi Ugulava's Arrest
Several foreign politicians have expressed their concern about the arrest of the Leader of European Georgia opposition and ex-Mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava
The U.S providing $170 million for military aid to Europe and Eurasia
The US budget for 2021 provides $ 170 million for military aid to Europe and Eurasia, including Georgia.
Middle East Institute about Black Sea Region Importance
Middle East Institute- the oldest Washington based institution dedicated solely to the study of the Middle East publishes an article, writing that the Black Sea should be a US and NATO priority.
Georgian Opposition Leader Gigi Ugulava Sentenced for 3 years
Georgian Supreme Court sentenced the Leader of European Georgia opposition party and ex-Mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava for three years and two months in prison
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
25.02.2020
26.02.2020
USD
1
USD
2.8079
2.7946
EUR
1
EUR
3.0370
3.0291
GBP
1
GBP
3.6233
3.6266
RUB
100
RUB
4.2987
4.2607
Other Stories
On 26 May, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, joined celebrations in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi
Violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Assad regime has been strictly criticized
Exactly one year ago, Georgia was granted visa-free travel with the European Union.
Georgia’s ex-president president Mikheil Saakashvili's supporters managed to free detained Mikheil Saakashvili in the center of Kiev.
The US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly congratulates Georgia on Independence Day.
The regulations on the introduction of visa-free travel for citizens of Georgia have been officially signed in Brussels.
The entire Georgia is involved in Secret Santa game, which means that people are sending gifts to each other secretly
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is taking part in NATO Ministerial underway in Brussels, Belgium.
A special squad has been mobilized at the 48th polling station in Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli region.
Two politicians in Georgia have come to blows during a live TV debate ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, Euronews reports.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.8079
EUR
1
EUR
3.0370
GBP
1
GBP
3.6233
RUB
100
RUB
4.2987