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11 Nov 2021

Statement of the State Inspector’s Service

The State Inspector’s Service responds to the footage published by the Special Penitentiary Service and the Ministry of Justice on November 11, 2021, depicting the fact of forced transfer of the third President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili to N18 Penitentiary Establishment and his placement in the cell.

Although the State Inspector’s Service has repeatedly called on all agencies and individuals to be careful when revealing the personal data of the third president of Georgia, the publication of videos containing his personal data has recently become systematic in the public interest. Once again, the State Inspector’s Service reminds everyone that in parallel with the high public interest, when dislosing personal data, human dignity should be protected. Further, given the ongoing examination of lawfulness of numerous facts of obtaining and publishing personal data of the third President of Georgia by the State Inspector’s Service and considering that the final decision has not yet been made at this stage, it is absolutely unacceptable to continue such a practice and publish personal data of the third President of Georgia by the Special Penitentiary Service and the Ministry of Justice of Georgia. The State Inspector’s Service started examination of  lawfulness of publishing the video recordings concerning the mentioned facts too.

At the same time, as it is known to the public, an investigation is pending at the State Inspector’s Service into the alleged fact of inhuman treatment against the third President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili under paragraph 2 (subparagraphs  "a", "b", "e" and "g") of Article 1443 of the Criminal Code of Georgia. In the course of the investigation of the mentioned criminal case,  on the very first day the investigation was launched, the State Inspector’s Service requested in writing from the Special Penitentiary Service to confirm the existence of the video recordings depicting transfer from N12 to N18 Penitentiary Establishment and placement of Mikheil Saakashvili in N18 Establishment and to archive them.

Having in mind the circumstances, namely, that the Special Penitentiary Service has not confirmed the existence of such recordings as of today, and thus they have not been requested on the basis of the court order, publishing these recordings (which at the same time, constitutes evidence of the criminal case under investigation by the State Inspector’s Service) by the Special Penitentiary Service and the Ministry of Justice threatens conduct of the effective investigation.

Based on the above, the State Inspector’s Service calls on the Ministry of Justice of Georgia and the Special Penitentiary Service to end publishing the video recordings containing personal data of the third President of Georgia, respect human dignity and privacy, as well as to refrain from assessing the criminal case under investigation of the State Inspector’s Service as it is in its sole authority to investigate alleged inhuman treatment against Mikheil Saakashvili.