In a special statement, the Penitentiary Service denied Nino Lomjaria’s allegations, saying that they did not breach neither Article 352 of the Criminal Code, nor any other noted by the Public Defender.
“The Ombudsperson met with those inmates, whom she intended to meet, except for those who refused, and that the meetings were held in a free environment, in full confidentiality, without any interference from the administration of the penitentiary facility.
The Penitentiary Service can neither serve as the guarantor to keep Ombudsperson’s prison visits secret from the media in practice, nor it has any legal obligation to do so. On the contrary, we are obliged to respond to questions of media, in case the latter asks them whether the Ombudsman’s visits penitentiary facility or not.
Despite numerous requests from the inmates, the incumbent Public Defender paid no single visit to penitentiary facilities in 2019.
We welcome the Public Defender’s yesterday’s visit to prison N9 and express hope this will not be the last time she visits the inmates and that from 2020 Ombudsman will positively, feasibly, respond to prisoners’ requests to meet her”, - reads the statement.