Videos of Prisoner Abuse Spark Protests in Former Soviet Republic


A prison abuse scandal in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia is threatening to unseat the country’s governing party, reports the Associated Press. Thousands rallied there Friday to demand the prosecution of top officials fired in the scandal. The protests were sparked by graphic videos showing Georgian prison guards brutally beating prisoners and raping them with truncheons and broom handles.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered overnight outside the Gldani prison in Tbilisi where the videos of abuse were filmed. President Mikhail Saakashvili, whose party is facing a tough election on Oct. 1, has sought to contain the damage by firing his interior and prison ministers and reshuffling prison personnel. But despite that, protesters increased their demands as rallies went into a third day Friday, insisting that former Interior Minister Bacho Akhalaya and his brother, who was a deputy defense minister, be brought to justice.

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