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Ombudsperson: Saakashvili’s Right to Honor, Dignity, Privacy Violated

Public Defender of Georgia, Nino Lomjaria stated the Ministry of Justice and its Special Penitentiary Service violated imprisoned Mikheil Saakashvili’s “right to honor, dignity and privacy” by publishing explicit footage showing the ex-President being dragged into the Gldani #18 prison clinic.

The ombudsperson said the footage confirmed that Saakashvili was transferred to the penitentiary hospital “fraudulently, against his will.” The Public Defender also highlighted that the footage, which included multiple jump-cuts, did not fully or continuously reflect the developments, and several episodes showed Saakashvili topless, “in degrading condition.”

Slamming the purpose named by Justice Minister Rati Bregadze for publishing the material, the ombudsperson said the footage was disseminated “in a completely disproportionate and insulting manner.” The Minister argued the authorities aimed to inform the public and refute claims made by Saakashvili’s defense lawyer Nika Gvaramia that the ex-President had been ill-treated and dragged for some 30 meters before reaching the facility.

The Public Defender pointed out that while the authorities released the footage publicly, they have not provided the full video to the State Inspector’s Service, which is probing the alleged ill-treatment of Saakashvili.

The Ombudsperson demanded that the Justice Ministry and the Special Penitentiary service “respect the rights of prisoners and stop violating” Mikheil Saakashvili’s rights to privacy, dignity and honor.

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