Shocking videos of prison tortures explode Georgia

Former employee of Tbilisi's Gldani prison N8 (Georgia), Vladimir Bedukadze, who distributed shocking videos of humiliation of prisoners, said that the prison guards were presumably torturing and raping ideological enemies of President Mikhail Saakashvili. Meanwhile, the Georgian authorities said that the scandal could have been arranged by the head of the Georgian Dream opposition coalition, Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Vladimir Bedukadze, who has fled to Belgium, claims that the materials, which the Georgian media published, were only a small part of the videos, which he had filmed at the instructions from the head of the penitentiary institution David Khuchua, Interfax reports. Bedukadze said in an interview with the Georgian television said that prisoners were tortured on the orders from Interior Minister of Georgia Bacho Akhalaia. Moreover, he added, the Minister for Execution of Punishment, Khatuna Kalmakhelidze, was aware of the tortures.

"Most valuable things are being kept in the safe of the current Interior Minister Bacho Akhalaia. Specifically, those videos depict murders and facts of twisted rape of prisoners and abuse of mentally unbalanced prisoners, who are not supposed to be kept in jail," said Bedukadze on Thursday to opposition TV channel Objective via Skype.

On Thursday it was reported that Mr. Bedukadze intended to seek political asylum in Belgium, Le Monde said.

Note: Viewing the videos is prohibited for children and not recommended for people with unstable mentality!

The scandal with the tortures of prisoners in Georgia broke out earlier this week. Georgian Interior Ministry reported that prison officers treated the prisoners in an inhumane way and shot everything on video. The department published several videos on its website, having said that it was only a small part of the evidence that the investigation had at its disposal. Other materials can not be exposed for public viewing, the ministry said.  

However, a few days later, Maestro and Channel Nine TV channels showed the videos, which they allegedly received from Vladimir Bedukadze. The videos depicted prison guards beating prisoners and raping them with rubber batons and brooms.

The reports about the tortures became a bombshell for the Georgian society. Large protests were held on Tuesday and Wednesday in Tbilisi and other cities of the country.

The Minister for Execution of Punishment, Khatuna Kalmakhelidze, stated that the head of the Department of for Execution of Punishment, David Khuchua, was dismissed from his position. On Wednesday, Khatuna Kalmakhelidze announced that she has resigned as well.

The chief of the Gldani prison has been replaced as well. The Georgian government promised to replace administrations of other Georgian prisons.

On Wednesday, the prosecutor's office of Georgia announced the arrest of 11 members of the Ministry for Execution of Punishment.

Since the scandal broke out in Georgia on the eve of the parliamentary elections on October 1, observers try to guess who will be able to use it to their advantage. While opposition activists accuse the leadership of human rights violations, the authorities have hinted that the head of the Georgian Dream coalition, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, could mastermind the scandal, the Kommersant newspaper wrote.

President Mikhail Saakashvili appeared on national television on Wednesday night. He promised to punish those responsible and never tolerate violations of human rights in prisons.

Note: Viewing the videos is prohibited for children and not recommended for people with unstable mentality!

The first videos of the tortures were made public on the website of the Interior Ministry. However, local opposition television channels broadcast the videos soon afterwards.

TV-9 channel showed another prison tortures video. Journalists presented another video, which shows acts of tortures committed at a colony for juveniles against a young man. The video appeared on YouTube soon after it had been broadcast.

The footage shows three employees of the colony beating the minor and making him curse criminal kingpins. The young man does not want to follow the instructions, then the guards force him to undress completely and threaten to rape him. They continue to beat him, and the video stops when the young man calls criminal kingpins names. 

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov