EU condemns Georgia prison abuse

Sept. 21, 2012 at 2:27 PM
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BRUSSELS, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- The European Union condemned abuse in Georgian prisons Friday, citing video footage of torture and rapes that has led to protests in cities in Georgia.

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said she was "appalled by the shocking footage of abuses against inmates."

The video was leaked to Georgian media Tuesday, and confirmed long-held suspicions torture and abuse are rampant in Georgia's correctional institutions, the Brussels online journal EUobserver said Friday.

Prisons Minister Khatuna Kalmakhelidze and Interior Minister Bacho Akhalaia resigned their positions and the government reacted by suspending the country's entire prison staff and arresting 15 guards, the journal said.

A government clampdown of crime and corruption has grown Georgia's prison population to 538 inmates per 100,000 citizens, among the world's highest, the British newspaper The Guardian said.

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