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The Public Defender Demands Timely Investigation of a Prisoner’s Death in Rustavi N6 Establishment

At 8 am, on September 16, 2014, convict Z. S. was found dead in a cell in N6 establishment of the Penitentiary Department. A doctor confirmed biological death by hanging.

On September 15, the convict was left alone in the cell following transfer of all of his three cellmates to another establishment. As representatives of the Public Defender were told by workers of the Penitentiary Department, it was also planned to relocate Z.S. to another establishment.

The Public Defender believes that two suicide cases in one facility on the course of one month is a ground for alarm. He calls on the Ministry of Corrections to conduct comprehensive work to timely determine mental health problems and susceptibility to suicide of inmates. At that, it is necessary to carry out prompt and effective investigation to determine causes of the death of the prisoner.

Mass relocation of prisoners to other penitentiary establishments is due to a need to conduct refurbishment works in N6 facility. At the moment, only around ninety convicts remain in the penitentiary establishment and the process of their relocation is under way.

The Public Defender welcomes the efforts to improve existing living conditions in the penitentiary establishment N6 but simultaneously calls on the Ministry Corrections of Georgia to ensure that interests of specific prisoners, including the right of communication with family, are met to the fullest extent.

The Public Defender’s Office of Georgia continues to investigate the fact of the death of convict Z.S. and monitor the process of transfer of prisoners from the penitentiary establishment N6 to other facilities.

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