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At the plenary session of the Parliament of Georgia, held on 30 July 2013, Eka Beselia, Member of the Parliamentary Majority, made the following statement: “The number of prisoner deaths exceeded 650 in recent years; roughly 140-145 inmates were dying each year in the prisons.”

FactCheck

set out to check the mortality rate in the penitentiary institutions of Georgia over the last few years.

Based on the public information, requested from the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance of Georgia, statistical data on mortality rates from 2010, 2011 and 2012 looks as follows:

  • The year 2010 – 144 accused/convicted
  • The year 2011 – 140 accused/convicted
  • The year 2012 – 67 accused/convicted

It is to be noted that the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance collects statistical data on deceased prisoners only starting from 2010.

Even though the Ministry has no statistical data on the situation prior to 2010, statistical data of that period can be acquired from the Public Defender’s Office of Georgia. According to the special report - Monitoring of Penitentiary Establishments and Temporary Detention Isolators for the first quarter of 2011, a total number of the deceased accused/convicted individuals in the period between 2006 and June of 2009 equalled to 371.

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Conclusion

As it follows from the data shown above, prisoner deaths in the years 2006-2012 amounted to 89, 101, 90, 91, 144, 140 and 67 respectively. As for the statement of the MP with regard to the number of the deceased prisoners being equal 140-145 each year, that is accurate only in 2010 and 2011. In total 722 accused/convicted individuals died in the penitentiary establishments between 2006 and 2012.

Consequently, we conclude that Eka Beselia’s statement “The number of prisoner deaths exceeded 650 in recent years; roughly 140-145 inmates were dying each year in the prisons,” is MOSTLY TRUE.