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EMC and GYLA Submit Alternative Report on implementation of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to the UN

By Khatia Bzhalava
Thursday, September 24
Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC) and Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) publish a collective alternative report, which they submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee on August 17th, on the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The alternative report is prepared within the fifth review cycle of Georgia’s implementation of the Civil and Political Rights Covenant.

According to the statements of EMC and GYLA, the report assesses key developments of the last 6 years regarding all civil and political rights enshrined in the covenant, as well as the implementation of the recommendations issued by the Committee within the fourth cycle.

“The Alternative Report, in relation to the relevant articles of the Covenant, reviews serious cases of individual rights violations during the reporting period, such as the illegal killing of Temirlan Machalikashvili, the abduction of Afgan Mukhtarli, violation of the right to remain in a state during the extradition process of the North Caucasians in Russian Federation, violations during the August 2008 War, problems related to the investigation and prosecution of crimes committed by the law-enforcers, etc,” the statement reads.

The report also assesses the harsh occurrences of violating human rights in the occupied territories, the severe social condition of the IDPs, the existing challenges in terms of anti-discriminatory politics and gender equality, shortcomings in the independence of the judiciary and the investigative system, the need for fundamental reform of the Code of Administrative Offenses, flaws occurring in juvenile justice, and challenges regarding freedom of religion. As noted, an important part of the reform is devoted to overviewing the repressive drug policy in the country.

In their alternative report, EMC and GYLA asses the harsh violation of freedom of expression and assembly, including the events of June 20-21, 2019 ( known as Gavrilov’s night), the events of May 12th, 2018 ( police raided Georgian nightclubs), the right of LGBT to assemble and numerous violations in this regard. The report critically assesses the violation of media freedom, including the events of the Adjara Public Broadcaster and cases of gross interference in journalistic activities and incidents of injuring journalists, while covering the events of June 20-21.

According to the statement, one part of the report is devoted to the challenges concerning labor rights, issues of labor safety, barriers to housing rights, and protection from eviction, as well as barriers to reform of the legal capacity of persons with disabilities in Georgia.

A large part of the report focuses on challenges regarding the participation of ethnic minorities in the political and social lives and challenges of integration policies in Georgia.

The statement reads that the information and the assessments given in the alternative report are based on the survey, fieldwork, and strategic litigation cases of EMC and GYLA and their analysis. In some cases, the report is based on the information provided by the state, as well as on the assessments of Public Defender and other local or international human rights organizations.