Public Defender’s Official Visit to Brussels
On 3-4 September 2019, within the framework of an official visit to Brussels, the Public Defender of Georgia, together with her delegation, held meetings in the EU External Action Service, with Siara O'bryan, leader of the future group on Georgia, as well as with Lithuanian MEP Petras Auštrevičius and Director for Neighbourhood East at Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, Lawrence Meredith.
At the meetings, Nino Lomjaria provided representatives of the EU institutions with comprehensive information about the situation of human rights and freedoms in Georgia, as well as the involvement and role of the Public Defender in the investigation of the June 20-21 events. The Public Defender also spoke about the challenges in the law enforcement system, attacks on NGOs, low public confidence in the judiciary and Prosecutor's Office, recent high-profile criminal cases and the need for reforms.
It should be noted that representatives of the EU institutions showed particular interest in the situation in the judicial system and the process of election of Supreme Court judges. Nino Lomjaria provided detailed information about the mentioned issues, indicated shortcomings and highlighted the great importance of the process.
In addition, the Public Defender spoke about the recent developments around the critical TV channels, noting that such processes have a serious impact on media freedom and pluralism, especially in view of the 2020 parliamentary elections.
The Public Defender also discussed the situation of equality in the country, expressing concern about the strengthened ultranationalist and homophobic groups that oppose the idea of equality, as well as the failure of the state to respond effectively to the calls for discriminatory crimes.
The Public Defender continues her visit to Brussels and will meet with other representatives of the European Parliament and the European Commission in the next two days.