Georgia’s Abu Ghraib
Posted by iberiana on September 21, 2012
In the last few years, Georgia has gone from being a crime ridden failed state to a dynamic, secure and open place. But sometimes I have to hold my head in my hands and weep about the fate of the country I proudly became a citizen of earlier this year.
When videos emerged on Tuesday showing guards viciously beating inmates in Gldani #8 prison in Tbilisi, Georgia erupted in outrage. The first film showed prisoners waiting in line before being escorted one by one to a stairwell, where a phalanx of guards rained punches and kicks down on them. Within hours, and fresh from the beauty salon, our fragrant (and now former) penitentiary minister informed the public that she had uncovered a bizarre and implausible conspiracy theory, whereby opposition-affiliated prisoners had somehow been bribing guards to torture prisoners as a way of discrediting the government.
The see-no-evil crowd of government apologists were quick to leap to her defence until a new video emerged later in the day. This footage clearly showed the sexual humiliation and rape of prisoners held in the same facility. In one scene, a young man is seen chained to the bars of his cell, a broom has been inserted between his buttocks. “What are you?” The guards ask. “I am a thief,” he replies in tears. Later, another prisoner is seen being forced to smoke a cigarette that has been placed in his anus. In the most disturbing scene of all, a victim is raped with what looks like a broom handle, all the while sobbing and begging the guards to stop. If this is a conspiracy to discredit the government, the Georgian opposition have learned from the guys that did the moon landings…