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Public Defender outlines his priorities

By Mzia Kupunia
Thursday, October 22
The Georgian Public Defender’s Office and the European Commission Delegation in Georgia presented a 1.4 million Euro project of support for the Public Defender’s Office (PDO) at Tbilisi Marriott Hotel on Tuesday. Its authors say the project will strengthen the monitoring capacity of the PDO on criminal justice reforms and promote the Rule of Law in Georgia. Improving the institutional capacity of the Public Defender’s Office and raising public awareness about rule of law and human rights issues is one of the top priorities of the project, the European Commission representatives said.

Speaking at the presentation the head of the European Commission Delegation in Georgia Per Eklund said that the EC will help Georgia defend human rights. “The Public Defender has a very crucial and important role to play. It is linked to democracy, stability and the protection of human rights. We must acknowledge that the work of the Public Defender is never easy,” Per Eklund said. “I remember I quite often congratulated previous Ombudsman Sozar Subari on doing a good job, because he was criticised by the Government. It is not easy to take criticism, all the more when it is related to human rights. The real and impartial monitoring of all human rights is only possible through an independent and professional Public Defender,” he noted.

New Public Defender Giorgi Tughushi outlined some of his priorities. “I began my work as Public Defender a month ago and I have already realised what kind of difficulties and responsibilities I will face in this position over the next five years,” the Ombudsman said. “Establishing democratic governance is the strong will of Georgian citizens; they want to form a democratic state through our joint efforts. It is impossible to reach this goal without respecting and defending human rights,” Tughushi stated.

Tughushi said he would defend the rights of Georgian citizens and foreigners living in Georgia. Paying special attention to the rights of prisoners was also listed in the Public Defender’s priorities. The Public Defender said it is also important to enhance the human rights knowledge of Georgian people.