Anti-torture Committee publishes Georgian responses to 2001 visit report

In two responses published today at its request, the Georgian Government provides information concerning issues raised by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) after its first periodic visit to Georgia in May 2001.
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 In response to the CPT's recommendations aimed at preventing ill-treatment by the police, the Georgian authorities have taken measures to improve professional training and step up control of police activities. However, it is acknowledged that conditions of detention at the majority of police facilities remain unsatisfactory, due to a lack of finance. 

As regards prison establishments, the Georgian authorities react favourably to a number of recommendations and comments made by the CPT. In the context of the reform of the penitentiary system, a special monitoring department has been set up at the Ministry of Justice. It systematically inspects prisons and makes proposals for legal and organisational changes. Progress is also reported in the area of combating tuberculosis. However, conditions at Prison No. 5 in Tbilisi - which is the largest pre-trial establishment in the country - are mostly unchanged. The establishment remains overcrowded and the building estate has additionally deteriorated as a result of the 2002 earthquake. The authorities' efforts to re-allocate prisoners and refurbish Prison No. 5 are being thwarted by difficulties in financing the completion of a new prison in Rustavi. 

The responses also refer to some progress at the Strict Regime Psychiatric Hospital in Poti. In particular, screening for tuberculosis of newly admitted patients has been introduced. More improvements are expected in 2004, as a consequence of the increased funding of the federal programme for psychiatric treatment. 

Both the visit report (published on 25 July 2002) and the responses of the Georgian authorities are available on the CPT's website