Issue brief by the Public Defender of Georgia about Arrests on the Dividing Line and Conditions of Prisoners
The Public Defender of Georgia has published a special issues brief about the detentions along the dividing line of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and conditions of prisoners. The issue brief outlines statistics of detainees and recommendations worked out by the PDO (Public Defender’s Office).
A year ago, the Public Defender has raised the issue of prisoners and spoke in favour of their release on both sides. This initiative was met with the positive response not only from the family members of prisoners, but also from different civil society organizations working on both side of conflict divide. The release of several Georgian and Ossetian prisoners in 2012-2013 was a step forwarded, but the process has stopped since then.
As of 31 May 2014, 70 people were detained on South Ossetian ABL and 107 people on Abkhazian ABL.
As of today, 3 Georgian prisoners remain in Tskhinvali prison. There are 11 inmates in Georgian prisons, who live on both sides of the dividing line. The members of the families of Ossetian and Georgian prisoners regularly appeal to the Public Defender of Georgia and request the pardon and release of prisoners upon the mutual agreement between the parties.
The results of unresolved conflicts negatively affect the human rights situation of residents of Gali District as well. There are several residents from this region who serve the sentence both in Sokhumi and Tbilisi prisons.