From the Georgian International Media Centre:
Horrifying situation for Georgian political prisoners
October 30, 2009 by georgiamedia
To mark ‘Political Prisoners Day’ which is commemorated on 30th October, two leading human rights NGOs in Georgia will hold a vigil outside Gldani prison, Tbilisi under the banner “Freedom for political prisoners, Truth for society”.
According to the Human Rights Centre, one of the NGOS taking part, families of the detainees, along with their legal representatives and politicians will take part in the protest to call for the release of political prisoners in Georgia.
The conditions in the notorious Gldani prison are said to be horrific. Filthy conditions in cells, poor nutrition, and inadequate medical treatement has resulted in terrible health problems for the prisoners, including the spread of tuberculosis, HIV/AIDs and Hepatitis C.
Today, tuberculosis and pneumonia are some of the most common diseases in Georgian prisons. Despite the fact that both are very treatable they are the primary reason for the high levels of prisoner mortality.
Being imprisoned in Georgia is a virtual death sentence. According to statistics, nearly 4 out of every 10 inmates die but mortality is highest among young prisoners – those from the age from 21 to 31. “Infections spread because of poor hygiene in the cells and poor nutrition,” said medical expert Levan Labauri.
Despite the denials of the Saakashvili regime, the International Federation of Human Rights has confirmed there are political prisoners in Georgia, based on a study of a number of cases.
But Saakashvili’s government did not allow the Federation fact-finding mission to meet with several alleged political prisoners despite their formal request.