The messenger logo

US Department of State made remarks about human rights issues and violations in Georgia

By Anastasia Sokhadze
Friday, March 13
The chapter about Georgia mainly concerns the significant human rights issues in the Russian occupied regions, Abkhazia and Samachablo. It says that the cases of indiscriminate seizures of life were detected in areas which were under Russia’s control.

Noteworthy problems include the issues with the independence of the judiciary, illegal intrusion of private spaces, unjustified force against journalists, significant interference with the right to peaceful assembly, including use of unjustified force against demonstrators by the police, and violent or intimidating crimes against the LGBT community.

“The government has taken steps to investigate some of the cases, but gaps remain, including insufficient accountability and unjustified use of force by police against journalists and demonstrators,” reads the report.

The same chapter discusses the 2018 presidential election and the OSCE's assessment, namely that the first round was held democratically, however the second round was possibly undemocratic in terms of unequal conditions among competitors, voters’ intimidation and retaliation.

Even though the information regarding the restrictions of movement of the locals in Abkhazia and Samachablo was scarce, reports of violations continued to circulate.

The overall picture of Georgia is followed by a couple of sections which discuss various problems. The section on personal immunity includes freedom from indiscriminate or politically motivated killings that mention the death of 18-year-old Temirlan Machalikashvili during a 2017 counterterrorism operation in Pankisi.

The document also reads about the situation in prisons, stating that there is a lack of proper healthcare and that living spaces are below the normal standards.

The Civil Rights section stated that the government has, at times, failed to adequately protect constitutional freedom of expression, including for the media.

One of the sections is dedicated to freedom of assembly, reads that organisations only have 5 days to inform the local authorities in the gathering space. It also said that the Public Defender's Office and NGOs have reported that police sometimes restricted or ineffectively ruled freedom of assembly.

The document provided by the department covers internationally recognised individual, civil, political and labour rights as set out in the Universal Declaration and other international agreements.