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Parliament document on inhuman treatment under UNM

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, June 6
The Parliamentary Committee of Human Rights and Civil integration held a presentation of the document, which includes legal assessments of incidents of torture and inhumane treatment taking place between 2004-2012, under the previous state leadership.

Based on the recommendation of the United Nations (UN) issued in August 2014, a special group was formed within Parliament’s Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee to address the previous facts of torture and inhumane treatment.

The group was composed of the Committee members as well as representatives from Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Corrections and the Public Defender’s Office.

The group was tasked with giving legal assessments to the facts of inhuman treatment and torture and elaborate relevant recommendations for different state bodies to prevent illegalities of this kind in the future.

A series of videos reflecting the torture and inhume treatment of Georgian prisoners were released before the October 2012 parliamentary race.

After defeating the previous ruling party, the current Georgian Dream (GD) government seized and destroyed hundreds of videos recorded by the previous leadership, reflecting the private lives of people, inhuman treatment and torture.

Several of the videos depicting private lives were also leaked under the current state leadership. The UNM opposition said the current Government stood behind the illegality.

The current Chief Prosecutor’s Office said they received thousands of complaints by alleged victims of inhuman treatment under the UNM leadership.

“We have discussed more than 6,000 complains during work on the document. More than 400 complaints included concrete facts of torture, or inhumane or abusive treatment. In more than 340 complaints, applicants stated they were victims of torture and inhumane treatment,” the head of Parliament’s Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee, Eka Beselia, said.

According to Beselia, the recommendations that would be sent to relevant state bodies included the necessity of comprehensive investigation of all incidents of alleged inhuman treatment and torture, the punishment of offenders and carrying out appropriate measures to avoid such incidents in the future.

In his speech, the head of Georgia’s Parliament Davit Usupashvili said “torture and inhumane treatment have no justification”.

Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said it was hard to imagine that “this kind of atrocities occurred in our homeland, next to us - inhuman and degrading treatment, blackmail and insults, violations of personal dignity, deprivation of property and murder.”

The PM stressed all the activities were done by the Government, who stated they were bringing Georgia to Europe.

"It was due to our great efforts we avoided civil confrontation and revenge after the illegal activities were unveiled. Furthermore, today we heard absolutely groundless and insulting allegations against our government from the creators of this merciless system.

“Today they are absolutely convinced that despite their dirty and false accusations, they will not be persecuted by the state machine even for the most radical assessments, they will not be subjected to blackmail and revenge. That is the achievement of our government and nation. That is our distinctive characteristic," Kvirikashvili said.

Kvirikashvili said his Government did its best to protect human rights and prevent human rights violations.

The UNM opposition admits the truth behind the allegations of inhumane treatment but stresses that such incidents must never take place. However, they claim the current authorities can’t ensure the protection of human rights and named the leak of sex tapes earlier this year under the tenure of the current government as evidence.