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NGOs condemn spread of prison torture videos

By Messenger Staff
Friday, August 19
A group of non-Governmental Organisations in Georgia have released a special statement in which they said that footage reflecting torture and inhumane treatment in Georgian prisons taking place under the previous state leadership, are still spreading on internet , which causes additional moral and psychological trauma to the people who suffered.

“The video footage of the torture of prisoners was released in such a way that everyone was able to identify the individuals depicted in the video.

“Unfortunately, no one thought to take down those videos and solve this issue,” reads the statement.

The NGOs stated that such crimes have not been given adequate legal assessments and most of the people behind the wrongdoings remain unpunished.

“That is why the topic still can be used for manipulations,” reads the statement.

In response Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office has released a statement, where the body said 60 people were charged for committing alleged illegalities in detention facilities, high-ranking prison figures among them.

The Office continued on to say that out of the 60 people, the court delivered guilty verdicts to 42 individuals.

Videos reflecting torture, rape and inhumane treatment in Georgian prisons were released prior to the 2012 parliamentary elections, which caused a significant public backlash and was one of the main reasons why the current ruling Georgian Dream coalition defeated the nine-year rule of the United National Movement party in 2012.

The current authorities also found thousands of other videos reflecting the private lives of public figures.

The majority of the videos were destroyed in 2013; those which remained were only spared if they were deemed to be valuable as evidence in other crimes.

However, some of the videos reflecting torture and private lives emerged on the Internet under the current state leadership.

There were cases when Internet users managed to download such videos before they were deleted from Youtube.

Protecting human rights is one of the essential duties of a democratic state. The current authorities are obliged to prevent any such videos appearing online, but their recent slow reaction to prevent and remove the recent uploads has led to speculation over ulterior motives.