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Human Rights Center summarizes human rights situation in Georgia

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Friday, January 31
The Human Rights Center summarized and assessed last year’s main events. The report focuses on the problem in the judicial system, as well as on the disproportionate use of force by law enforcement, the media environment and the rights of LGBT persons.

The organization highlights the issue of appointment of the Supreme Court judges and writes that the High Council of Justice has failed to convince an impartial observation of the competence of the elected judges.

The report points out systemic flaws during the 2019 protests, including the events surrounding the June 20-21 events, protests in Pankisi Gorge and the rallies in connection with the electoral system in Tbilisi.

In the same context, the Human Rights Center says the facts of disproportionate use of force by law enforcement agencies and the state's response to law enforcement misconduct are ‘disturbing.’

The report also states that in 2019, the media environment in Georgia was polarized:

“Various attempts to change the editorial policy of critical media outlets from the state are still relevant. Particularly problematic were the obstruction of journalistic activity and the physical injury to a record number of journalists during the events of June 20-21,” reads the report.

The Human Rights Center still considers the human rights situation in the occupied territories a challenge. They say that people beyond the occupation line are being deprived of a number of rights, “which still leaves the risks of humanitarian crisis on both the occupied territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.”

According to the organization, discrimination and stigmatization of various minorities is still a major problem in the country, especially in the LGBTQ + community. Also, the report notes that violent actions by ultraconservative homophobic groups remain unanswered.

According to the Human Rights Center, there are no basic conditions for decent work in the country and the safety of labor, the high rate of workplace deaths, labor exploitation, remain problematic.

The report is based on data and estimates from the Human Rights Center, other non-governmental organizations operating in Georgia, the Public Defender of Georgia and international organizations.

Non-governmental organization the Human Rights Center, formerly Human Rights Information and Documentation Center (HRIDC) was founded on December 10, 1996 in Tbilisi, Georgia.

The Human Rights Center is dedicated to the protection and promotion of human rights, rule of law and peace in Georgia. It is free of any political or religious affiliation.

The Human Rights Center believes that everyone is entitled to exercise her/his civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights freely and without any discrimination as guaranteed by national and international law. It states that protection and promotion of these rights and respect for the rule of law are the key preconditions for building sustainable peace and democracy in Georgia.

The HRIDC aims to increase respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and facilitate peacebuilding process in Georgia. To achieve this goal it is essential to ensure that authorities respect the rule of law and principles of transparency and separation of powers, to eliminate discrimination at all levels, increase awareness and respect for human rights among the people in Georgia.