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2020-01-22 13:33
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On January 21, 2020 at the session of the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee in the Parliament of Georgia where the Public Defender presented a special report, Thea Tsulukiani, the Minister of Justice publicly showed a video recorded in the a cell of a convict in the penitentiary institution, which was subsequently posted on the official Facebook page of the Special Penitentiary Service. The disseminated video-recording also shows that the recording took place on April 19, 2019 and it was released on January 21, 2020. It is noteworthy that the Committee meeting was broadcasted through the Parliament's website, media and social media.

Also, the Minister has publicly shown three video-recording demonstrating how the staff of the Penitentiary Service being assaulted by the convicts. The video-recording shows the faces of the staff members and the representatives of the Public Defender's Office and the minister even calls by name the representative of the Public Defender's Office in one of the video-recordings. It is also worth noting that although the faces of convicts are covered in these video-recordings this does not preclude the identification of persons placed in the facility in other ways. See also GYLA's statement about this case.

Studying these facts and responding to them is important to the extent that the public showing of the video-recordings threatens the credibility of the Public Defender's mandate and the exercise of his constitutional authority. It is also noteworthy that the alleged violation was committed by a state-political official and the broadcasting of disseminated footage was made publicly.

Given the above mentioned, we believe that it is necessary that the State Inspector to initiate an inquiry into this fact, therefore, we ask you to take the opportunity provided by the legislation and to respond appropriately to the facts indicated in the statement.

For detailed information, please see the attached file.