Public Defender's Statement on Violation of Convict's Right to Correspondence
The violation of the convict’s right to correspondence has been confirmed in Penitentiary Establishment No. 6.
When applying to the Public Defender's Office, convict R.S. indicated that on April 6 and 11, 2023, as well as on May 16, 2023, he handed confidential complaints to the social worker in order to send them to specific agencies, however, part of the correspondence has not been sent.
As part of the case study, the Public Defender's Office examined the recordings of surveillance video cameras installed in the penitentiary facility and established that the convicted person had indeed handed confidential complaints to the social worker on the days indicated by him, whereas according to the information requested, the penitentiary facility confirmed that transfer of only part of the correspondence.
Based on the results of the case study, the Public Defender made a proposal to the Minister of Justice of Georgia and demanded the launch of disciplinary proceedings relating to the violation of R. Sh’s right to correspondence.
Based on the Public Defender’s proposal, the Monitoring Department of the Special Penitentiary Service conducted an official inspection and confirmed the commission of a disciplinary offence by the employees of the penitentiary institution. As a result, disciplinary penalties were imposed on two persons.
It should be noted that R.Sh. is not the first person whose the right to correspondence has been violated. Another similar case took place in the recent past, when disciplinary penalty was imposed on three persons.
The Public Defender emphasizes the importance of unhindered realization of the accused/convicted persons’ rights guaranteed by legislation, including the right to correspondence. The Office will continue active monitoring in order to detect and respond to the deficiencies in this direction.