Ombudsman: stop violating Saakashvili's privacy, honor and dignity
Public Defender of Georgia Nino Lomjaria responded to the footage released by the Penitentiary Service and says that the Ministry of Justice / Special Penitentiary Service violated the right to honor, dignity and privacy of the prisoner by using forceful footage against Mikheil Saakashvili.
As Lomjaria explains in the statement, the videos do not fully and continuously reflect the relevant episode, and in several episodes included in the compilation, the prisoner is depicted in a semi-naked, degrading condition.
“As it is known, the State Inspector’s Office is investigating the alleged ill-treatment of Mikheil Saakashvili. According to the State Inspector, the video recordings requested by the investigation have not been provided to the Penitentiary Service so far. Therefore, it is unclear why it was decided to make the video material public and not to provide it in full to the investigative body, “the statement reads.
The Public Defender demands that the Minister of Justice and the Special Penitentiary Service respect the rights of prisoners and stop violating Mikheil Saakashvili’s personal data, honor and dignity.
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The State Inspector’s Office also responded to the mentioned footage. They, as well as the Public Defender, call on the Ministry of Justice and the Penitentiary Service to stop publishing videos of the personal data of Georgia’s third president, Mikheil Saakashvili, and to respect human dignity and privacy.
A statement issued by the Inspector’s Office reads that the recent release of video recordings of Mikheil Saakashvili’s personal data on the grounds of public interest has become systematic.
Also, according to them, the state inspector has started to study the legality of making the video recordings public. The Inspector’s Office emphasizes that the release of the video footage hinders the investigation launched by the State Inspector into possible inhumane treatment of Mikheil Saakashvili.
“In the conditions when the Special Penitentiary Service has not yet confirmed the existence of such records to the State Inspector’s Service and, consequently, they have not been requested by a court decision, the Special Penitentiary Service and the Ministry of Justice have made the staff public (including the State Inspector’s Office). “Evidence in the current criminal case) threatens to conduct an effective investigation,” the statement reads.
On November 10, a Strasbourg court issued a ruling on “temporary measures” related to Mikheil Saakashvili’s hunger strike, his health and safety.
The Strasbourg court gave priority to the case and took “temporary measures”. Due to the content of the “temporary measures”, this decision of the Strasbourg court means that the European Court of Human Rights has seen the danger of irreparable damage to Saakashvili’s life and health.
Mikheil Saakashvili has been on hunger strike for more than 40 days since he was arrested on October 1.
On November 8, he was transferred from Rustavi Prison to Gldani Prison Hospital against his will in order to “prevent deterioration of his health.” Saakashvili himself, his family, doctors and the Public Defender’s Office opposed his transfer to the prison hospital on the grounds that the prison hospital lacked the medical equipment needed to treat Saakashvili and was also unsafe.
The Public Defender inspected the medical facility in Gldani Prison several times. The ombudsman wrote in the reports that the conditions in the clinic were inappropriate for the treatment of the patient.
Elene Khoshtaria, the leader of the political party “Droa”, started a hunger strike in the parliament demanding to take Saakashvili to the civil clinic.
Saakashvili was secretly transferred to Gldani. In parallel with these processes, on November 8, the opposition launched large-scale, continuous protests demanding the release of Mikheil Saakashvili and the calling of early elections.