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Minister Initiates restriction of phone calls by inmates to their wives or ex-wives

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, April 19
(TBILISI)--The Georgian Minister of Corrections Kakhi Kakhishvili stated on Wednesday that he intends to initiate a draft in parliament to restrict “unwanted” phone calls by inmates to their ex-wives or wives.

He stated that women may soon have a right to submit such a request in the ministry and the inmates will not be able to disturb them.

The statement came after a brutal murder of a 25-year-old girl by her stepfather, by a former inmate who permanently pressured his ex-wife, including during the time he was in prison.

Kakhishvili says that his body receives complaints from many women that their husbands or ex-husbands phone them from prison to threaten them, or for other purposes.

“The women do not want to receive such calls from their husbands or ex-husbands.”

“We have no law that would regulate the case of such calls, in the situation when the ministry receives many complaints over undesired phone calls from prisons,” Kakhishvili said.

“It is very important that such calls are restricted,” he added.

The minister stated that all the state bodies should work to prevent violence against women.

The Georgian Public Defender Nino Lomjaria says that despite the fact that the rate of identification of domestic violence has increased in recent years and at first glance, the problem has moved from a closed social circle to public space, the number of brutal forms of violence and murder is still high.

She stated that 14 out of 26 cases of femicide in 2017 were a result of domestic violence and 12 out of 15 murder attempts were related to domestic crimes.

“Along with the efforts of the law enforcement agencies, it is important for the state to focus on awareness raising and strengthening of social workers, which is of special significance due to the specifics of domestic violence. Activity of each member of the society plays a serious role in this process,” Lomjaria said.

She said that it is important that the Criminal Code provides a definition of femicide, as well as a penalty, like in case of murder committed under aggravating circumstances, since femicide is murder with a discriminatory motive – to gain power to own a woman, which makes it different from other crimes.