Rallies against abuse of prisoners grow in Ga.

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) -- Street protests against the brutal abuse of prisoners have grown larger in the Georgian capital, offering a tough challenge to the authorities in the runup to a tightly contested parliamentary election.

Thousands rallied outside the Interior Ministry's headquarters and a Tbilisi prison Thursday, two days after television stations showed videos of guards beating and raping inmates with truncheons and broom handles.

The demonstrators are demanding the resignation of the nation's interior minister.

President Mikhail Saakashvili has sought to defuse tensions by accepting the resignation of a minister in charge of penitentiaries and completely reshuffling prison personnel. But the simmering public anger threatens to damage his party in the Oct. 1 parliamentary vote.

(Copyright 2012, The Associated Press)

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