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Georgia Protests Over Prison Abuse Scandal Enter Sixth Day

Georgians rally to protest prison abuse in Tbilisi on September 24
Hundreds of demonstrators rallied in Tbilisi for a sixth day on September 24 to protest prison abuse under the rule of President Mikheil Saakashvili.

The protests were sparked by the release of a video showing prison guards beating and humiliating prisoners, as well as inmates being raped.

The footage, broadcast by opposition television channels, deals a major blow to Saakashvili ahead of key parliamentary elections on October 1.

His ruling party, the National Movement, faces a growing electoral challenge from the Georgian Dream coalition led by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Saakashvili has promised an overhaul of the prison system, and two of his ministers have resigned over the scandal.

Saakashvili's supporters have charged that opposition figures bribed prison officials to carry out and record the abuse in order to discredit the government.

RFE/RL's Georgian Service and Reuters