Georgia prison video 'disturbing'

Sept. 19, 2012 at 12:31 PM

BERLIN, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- A Georgian television broadcast showing sexual abuse at a prison in the country is a "profoundly disturbing" event that warrants an investigation, HRW said.

Human Rights Watch called for an investigation after a Georgian broadcaster televised video showing sexual abuse of inmates by the staff at the country's Gldani Prison No. 8.

Giorgi Gogia, a researcher on European affairs for Human Rights Watch, said Tbilisi should take full legal action against those suspected of the abuses and ensure such events aren't repeated.

"The abuse captured in this footage is profoundly disturbing," Gogia said in a statement from Berlin.

The organization said the Interior Ministry in Georgia issued a statement Tuesday saying it launched an investigation into the allegations of abuse. Human Rights Watch said Tbilisi acknowledged the abuse but also said it was part of a plot launched by an inmate in coordination with prison staff.

The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture said in a 2010 report that abuse at the Gldani prison was common and ordered for what could be considered minor offenses.

Thousands of people took to the streets of Tbilisi in protest of the prison video. The government had said three guards at the prison were arrested in connection with the alleged abuses and several officials responsible for Gldani were dismissed.

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