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Prisoners Are Deprived of the Right to Communicate

14.12.2016

Human Rights Center condemns the restriction of the use of communication means by the prisoners that has been observed in penitentiary establishments recently. 

Human Rights Center received applications from the inmates of both high and low-risk penitentiary establishments, where the prisoners complain about restricted right to have over-phone communication with people and control. Namely, the prisoners were obliged to fill in special forms, where they have to list concrete phone numbers (5 numbers in the high-risk facility and 10 in the low risk facilities), also write names of the owners of those numbers and their relation with the prisoners. Unless this requirement is met, the prisoner will not be able to communicate people outside the prison.

From January 1, 2016 the communication restrictions were imposed over the accused prisoners too. The court entitled the investigator and prosecutor to deliver restriction of over-phone conversations on the prisoners. Individual authority to control the communication of prisoners enable the prosecutor and the investigator to achieve all desirable agreement with the accused person. 

Apart to those problems, Human Rights Center was informed about breached rights of foreign prisoners to enjoy correspondence with their relatives and others abroad.

The alien inmates of the Georgian penitentiary establishments cannot enjoy the right to send letters abroad. According to the information provided from the Ministry of Corrections, the alien prisoners have to pay at least 90 GEL to send letters abroad. It is 10 times more expensive than usual post service available for Georgian prisoners. In doing so, the Ministry of Corrections creates unequal conditions for alien convicts in comparison with Georgian prisoners. Due to high tariff, the foreign prisoners cannot enjoy the right to send correspondence that is guaranteed under the Prison Code of Georgia.

Human Rights Center communicated with the Ministry of Corrections about abovementioned issues, and they justified the abovementioned practices with different arguments.

Tomorrow, on December 15, at 11:30 am, Human Rights Center will hold a press-conference with regard to abovementioned problems of prisoners. 

Human Rights Center
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