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Georgia: Debating Prison Reform

Hundreds of Georgians gather to protest against torture in prisons. (Photo: Vano Shlamov/AFP/Getty Images)

The need for far-reaching changes in Georgia’s prisons, brought to life by recent graphic videos of rape and beatings, paved the way for Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili’s rise to power. But now, nearly two months after the parliamentary elections that put his Georgian Dream coalition in charge of the country’s 17 correctional facilities, the topic of prison reform is proving contentious.

For some, the reform procedure is not moving fast enough, while others fear it is moving too quickly and sacrificing transparency along the way. Much of the debate centers around an amnesty bill, now under discussion in parliament, which, according to Prisons Minister Sozar Subari, could release 6,500 of Georgia’s 23,227 prisoners, including some 185 alleged political prisoners.

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Georgia: Debating Prison Reform

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