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Penitentiary Services Releases Another Footage of Ex-president Saakashvili

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Friday, November 12
The Special Penitentiary Service publishes another video of the transfer of the third President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili from Rustavi to Gldani’s prison. Experts commented that the video footage shows traces of editing and does not fully reflect the conflict between Saakashvili and the staff of the institution.

The published footage shows the protest of a prisoner who refuses to voluntarily enter the Gldani medical facility.

“The footage clearly shows how he does not obey the lawful instructions of the employees of the institution, behaves aggressively and verbally insults them,” the agency said in a statement.

The Office of the Public Defender of Georgia issued a statement yesterday, saying that the Special Penitentiary Service violated the prisoner's right to honor, dignity, and privacy, by releasing the footage which showed the placement of Saakashvili in the Gldani prison medical establishment against his will.

The Ombudsman's Office also indicates that the footage does not fully reflect the relevant episode, while in several parts of the video, the prisoner is shown semi-naked, in degrading condition. The statement of the Public Defender also indicates that the ex-president was taken to the establishment fraudulently, against his will.

“The Public Defender believes that by pointing to an abstract legitimate purpose and disseminating the footage of prisoner Mikheil Saakashvili in a completely disproportionate and insulting manner, his right to honor dignity and privacy was violated,” reads the statement of the Public Defender.

The State Inspector's Office also responded to the release of the footage, saying that the releasing such videos have already become systematic.

“Although the Office of the State Inspector General has repeatedly called for all agencies and individuals to be careful about disclosing the personal data of the third President of Georgia, the recent release of videos containing his data for the sake of public interest has become systematic,” reads State Inspector’s statement.

Saakashvili was arrested in Georgia on October 1, and he has been on hunger strike since then. The penitentiary service transferred him from Rustavi to Gldani for medical assistance.

Saakashvili was verbally insulted by prisoners as he was brought to the establishment.