Public Defender's Statement on Russian Ombudsman's Appeal
Public Defender Nino Lomjaria has responded to the request of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation, Tatiana Moskalkova, to assist in the protection of the rights of Russian citizens in Georgia.
“First of all, I would like to note that the Public Defender's Office has not been addressed by any citizen of the Russian Federation with regard to the violation of rights. The only individual case we are informed of at this stage concerns the alleged interference with the journalistic activities and violence against a respondent of a Russian media outlet. The Ministry of Internal Affairs launched an investigation into the incident. I personally talked to representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and we are actively observing the process of investigation. As far as we are informed, investigation is ongoing intensively and every person involved in the incident are being questioned.
Despite the Russian occupation, no violence has ever taken place against any citizen of the Russian Federation in Georgia on ethnic or national grounds. Georgia has maintained the status of a safe country and there is no ground that would change this reality. Amid the active anti-occupation protests, Russian citizens are able to peacefully move and equally enjoy all services without any obstacle in Georgia.
If necessary, the Public Defender of Georgia will protect the rights of all citizens regardless of their citizenship or ethnicity on the territory of Georgia and will react to each incident.
It should be noted that there is cooperation and communication around the human rights issues between the Public Defender of Georgia and the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation, which is especially important in the absence of diplomatic relations.
Our aim is to prevent the recent developments from affecting the human rights situation of civilians on the territory of Georgia and the Russian Federation and we hope that the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation, Mrs. Tatiana Moskalkova, will also protect the rights of Georgian citizens on the territory of Russia and will not allow their discrimination on grounds of nationality or ethnicity.