Gela Nikolaishvili. Photo: RFE/RL

23 August 2016, 13:30

Human rights defenders treat scandal with video of torture in Georgian prisons as smear war

In Georgia, simultaneously with the cancellation of the registration of the pro-Russian "Centrists" Party for the parliamentary elections, the public attention focuses on the video of torture in prisons shot by its leader. There are some allegations of the staged nature of the video record and the requests for new investigation. According to local human rights defenders, the story is associated with the new elections, and the video of torture became one more discrediting material.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that the "Centrists" party was led by Vladimir Bedukadze, a former warder of Prison No. 8 in the Gldani District of Tbilisi, whose name was mentioned in the case on torture of prisoners.

According to a number of experts, in 2012, the party led by Mikhail Saakashvili lost the election because of the publication of videos shot in prisons, and the video is still used as discrediting material to put pressure on public opinion.

Political analyst Soso Tsiskarishvili, the president of the "Independent Experts Club", believes that Vladimir Bedukadze may be supported by some forces from Russia, which face a favourable situation in Georgia.

Giya Gvilava, a staff member of the Georgian branch of the "Transparency International", also points out to the political background of the appearance of the videos of torture in prisons.

According to Giya Gvilava, the authorities have failed to react properly when the videos of torture were shown in public places and even at schools. Therefore, the human rights defender does not believe in effectiveness of the investigation in the case.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Beslan Kmuzov; Source: CK correspondent

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