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Group Says Georgia Has Failed To Stop Torture

13 April 2005 -- Human Rights Watch says Georgian authorities have failed to end widespread torture of detainees in the criminal justice system.

In a statement released today, the human rights organization says that since the "Rose Revolution" that toppled former president Eduard Shevardnadze and brought a new government into power in 2003, authorities have not adequately dealt with torture.

The statement, titled "Georgia: Uncertain Torture Reform," describes the ongoing impunity for torture, a problem that the group says persists despite some government measures taken to combat it.

The organization says that the government has taken some positive steps to prevent torture, but the plea-bargaining system is not one of them. It says in a country where the rule of law has not yet been firmly established, a system that allows law-enforcement authorities the power to negotiate "liberty in exchange for cash payments" is bound to be abused.

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