Special Reports

Human Rights and Freedoms in Georgia - 2013

Unlike the resolution of previous years, when the Parliament usually only acknowledged the receipt of the Public Defender’s reports, this year the legislative body shared the recommendations provided in the report and assigned respective state bodies to carry out specific activities. The Public Defender of Georgia welcomes the resolution of the Parliament and hopes that the Committee on Human Rights and Civil Integration ensures effective monitoring of implementation of the activities focused on fulfillment of the recommendations indicated in the report.

In general, after the events of 2012, which ended with peaceful transfer of power after the parliamentary elections of October, the year of 2013 was distinguished by being less dramatic. Compared to the extremely tense pre-election period before the parliamentary elections, the presidential elections were held in a quiet and violence-free environment. Although the public witnessed a painful political cohabitation of two main political forces during the whole year, this tension did not have fundamental impact on the general situation regarding the protection of human rights – if not considering the alarming trend which took place after the parliamentary elections, in the form of mass dismissal of public servants from local self-government bodies. After dissemination of the videos of torture and inhumane treatment at penitentiary institutions in September 2012, the public attention used to be focused on the protection of prisoners’ rights, however, thanks to the political will expressed for eliminating the problem and also thanks to the implemented reforms, this challenge became of secondary significance. During this year, one of the most important achievements in the field of human rights can be considered the liberalization of criminal policy, which has represented the subject of numerous recommendations of the Public Defender of Georgia for years. However, on the other hand, the problem of actively demonstrated intolerance by various groups became a burning issue, which in some cases did not result in adequate response. Another alarming trend that surfaced this year was an unlawful interference of the state in the inviolable area of people’s privacy that took place during the last years. It is less likely to regulate this problem without amending the legislative framework, which in fact grants unlimited authority to the representatives of law enforcement bodies in regards to controlling the private lives of people. Among the problematic issues for the Public Defender of Georgia, other than civil and political rights, the right to housing of the vulnerable population occupies the central place, and realization of this right again remains an unfulfilled objective of the state as far as there is no respective policy.

The present document does not cover the analysis of the criminal cases initiated against high ranking officials of the previous government, as at this stage these cases are being studied. The findings of the examination will be reflected in the parliamentary report of the Public Defender of Georgia.

Human Rights and Freedoms in Georgia - 2013

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