"All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law."

Article 7(1)

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

In today's issue:
Georgian NGO’ s will send the true information abroad

Yesterday OSCE arranged a workshop seminar at "Krtsanisi" governmental residence. Non-Governmental Organization, ,,Former political prisoners for human rights" had also participated in that seminar. Participated discussed the following issues:

1) Election process in Georgia; 2) Role of NGO’s in law-making process; 3) Conflicts; 4) Human Rights protection. Regarding the last issue, participants discussed how the recommendations of European Council are being observed.

OSCE is the non-governmental organization, so that it does not represent one particular state interests. OSCE renders the technical and advisory assistance to governmental bodies and various organizations all over the world.

Now OSCE in going to recommend several governments to render the necessary assistance to Georgia in the field of OSCE and European Council asked Georgian NGO s to keep contact with them and disseminate the true information about the ongoing processes in Georgia.

,,Mkhedrioni" has consultations with Rusudan Beridze

Political movement, ,Mkhedrioni" began negotiations with the vise-secretary of the Security Council on Human rights issues Mrs. Rusudan Beridze to release members of one of ,,Mkhedrioni" from prisons.

According to one of the leaders of ,,Mkhedrioni" Tornike Beruashvili nowadays there are 90 prisoners from their organization in Georgia. Most of them are not charged with murder and according to their parameters" they must be released by the decree of the President Shevardnadze.

By the decree of the President of Georgia from 20th of April 66 supporters of ex-president Gamsaxurdia and 18 members of, Mkhedrioni" had been released. One of the released persons is the leader of Mkhedrioni" Jaba Ioseliani.

People misunderstand the functions of Public Defender in Georgia

,,It's very important post, but, unfortunately, in Georgia it is oriented on many other issues but the protection of National Democratic Party of Georgia Mrs. Irina Sarishvili concerning the issues of Public Defender’s election. People misunderstand the functions of Public Defender because of the former Public Defender 's activities, which entirely were focused on the penitentiary system of the country. Mrs. Sarishvili abstained to express her opinion about the present candidates for Public Defender vacancy. The Parliament of Georgia considers two Candidates for that post: Mrs. Nana Devdariani from the Socialist Party and Mr. Vakhtang Dzabiradze from the Employer’s Party."

Zaza Paichadze was oppressed

Member of Mkhedrioni" Dodo Gugeshasvili and her like-minded persons, who were charged with looting actions in the village Darcheli (Zugdidi region) have been released recently. Only one person from that case Zaza Paichadze is still detained in Rustavi Colony. The member of the Parliament Elene Tevdoradze met him in prison and according to her Zaza had not participated in criminal actions. His only fault is the fact, he had been a commandant of Zugdidi region when the crime was committed.

This is first conviction for Zaza Paichadze and he is not dangerous for the society-thinks Elene Tevdoradze and she is sure that Zaza must be released in the nearest future as well as all the persons of his case had been already released

Some of the prisoners are treated unfairly

The head of the Human Rights Committee of the Parliament of Georgia Mrs. Elene Tevdoradze met the prisoners who are going to start a hunger striking. Nowadays there are 1300 prisoners in Rustavi Colony ?1. Presidential Commission received files of 300 prisoners those who could be pardoned by the President of Georgia. 58 of them were pardoned, but the other prisoners, who are charged with the similar crimes, were not.

Elene Tevdoradze also visited Colony ?2 (1111 prisoners) where only 83 prisoners of 400 were pardoned. She mentioned one example when a former member of army Zaza Salukvadze was pardoned, his former colleague Tite Gogashvili, charged exactly with the same crime, was not.

According to Elene Tevdoradze it's totally unfair when one of two prisoners, who are charged with the similar criminal actions and are sentenced to the same imprisonment term, is pardoned and the other one is not.

However Elene Tevdoradze together with the leadership of the Rustavi Colony managed to convince prisoners of abstraction from hunger-striking.

,,Georgia does not need Public Defender yet"

,,Georgia does not need Public Defender yet",- says the leader of Labor Party of Georgia Mr. Shalva Natelashvili. In his opinion the institution of Public Defender is useless in presidential states, such as Georgia, where the functions of the Public Defender is shared between Constitutional and Supreme Courts of Georgia. Natelashvili was always against the establishment of Public Defender's institution because as he says, ,,this institution is so useless in Georgia, that even the best candidate for Public Defender 's post will become unable to do anything".

The accused seized The hungry-strike on the 10th day

The alleged perpetrators of terr-act against the president A. panjikidze, O Melkadze, D. Tsotsoria and S. Nadiradze seized the hungry-strike on it is 10th day. Their declaration that they are forsaken turned out to be false. The active participation of ombudsman’s office in their fate. Inspite of the said they go on with ordinary strike, they take water and juice. Their only demand is the Ombudsman’s supervision the case will proceed under the personal supervision of his representative R. Ninua. As T. Lomsadze informed the heath condition of the strikers is satisfactory, they feel quite all right. The Ombudsman’s office is planning to visit the prisoners in order to find out their physical and moral conditions.

"Mkedrioni" demands to release political prisoners

The leaders of "Mkedrioni" organization are planing to meet with the representatives of executive and legislative powers demanded the release of political organization. D,Gugeshashvili expressed her surprise why the condition of Presidential decree of 20th April did not extend on people who fought in Abkhazia in 1992-93. The primary tasks of the leaders of "Mkedrioni" is that, they have to release the situation personally first of all and them give an adequate answer to their friends is till in prison, who plan large scale strikes. According to Gugeshashvili there are 15 more "Mkedrioni" members remaining imprisoned.

Elene tevdoradze explains the refusal to become an ombudsman

According to the head of parliamentary committee of human rights protection the only reason of refusal is connected with money, in particular, the salary of public Defender equal’s to 150 lari while the salary of committee’s head is 300 lari. According to her Parliament with discuss the candidate on Friday, she also does not exclude the possibility of nomination from parliamentary majority. She intended to support ‘’socialist’’ N Devdariani to be elected, but when she was reluctant to criticize law enforcement bodies on poor human rights record, Tevdoradze changed her mind. And as regards the candidate Dzabiradze from ‘the industry with save Georgia’’ may be the majority with face the variety of views.

Babilashvili will find out the truth

The journalist of TV Company, Rustavi 2" Mr. Akaki Gogichaishvili arranged a meeting with his colleagues, where he declared that he is threatened for his weekly program "60 minutes". He was told to suspend his program and leave the country. According to Gogichaishvili he was also threatened from Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia.

Yesterday the General Prosecutor of Georgia Mr. Jamlet Babilashvili send an official letter to the Minister of State Security Mr. Vakhtang Kutateladze with the request to investigate the facts which the journalist Gogichaishvili mentioned in his program. Mr. Babilashvili also asked the Minister of Internal Affairs to take all necessaries for providing the safety of the journalist and his family.

Activities of democratic society is very ineffective in Georgia

Supporting the journalist of TV company, Rustavi 2" Akaki Gogichaishvili, one of the leaders of the Republican Party of Georgia Mr. David Berdzenishvili made his own statement: ,,It is awful when the authorities are threatening the journalist for his right to expression of his opinion. I’m not sure that any kind of demonstrations against the interference into the independent journalism will bring any positive results until the society does not organize a democratic movement for the protection of their rights."

Journalists send the letter to the President of Georgia

The independent journalists of Georgia sent the letter to the President where they express their concern about the fact of persecution of their colleague Akaki Gogichaishvili. They ask President to create a special group which will investigate the facts of corruption, mentioned in Gogichaishvili’s program, 60 minutes". Journalists expressed their will to involve the deputy prosecutor General Anzor Baluashvili and the press secretary of the President of Georgia Kakha Imnadze in the special group’s activities. Journalists also believe that Mr. President will provide the personal safety of Akaki Gogichaishvili and his family.

Why the reporter of the "Voice of America" is oppressed?

The reporter of the Voice of America in Georgia, writer Mr. Givi Chkhikvishvili stopped broadcasting from Tbilisi during the last one month. It’s caused by the technical problems; when he was usually broadcasting by telephone, his voice had been permanent suppressed by, someone else" during the last 7 months. Mr. Chkhikvishvili believes that it was so called, "eavesdrop bodies" ’s job, which was so typical for the Soviet periods. Four journalists at the office of the Voice of America in Tbilisi Eter Pichkhadze, Keti Gabunia, Luke Betaneli and Ramaz Jabadari are concerned about the above mentioned situation and hope that their college will have an opportunity to continue his program from Tbilisi as soon as it’s possible.

Awfully beaten journalist sues a policeman

Several facts of physical abuse of journalists had taken place recently in Georgia but still nobody is responsible for that. From that point of view it’s interesting the last ongoing criminal law process at Tbilisi regional Court, where the reporter of newspaper ,,Resonansi" George Kapanadze blames a policeman Devnoz Gabatashvili for the act of his physical abuse.

Last year on 14th of October George Kapanadze together with his colleagues were going to the small city Mtskheta to the celebration of the annual date "Mtskhetoba". But the group of policeman stopped them by Mtskheta and didn’t allow them to enter the city with no explanations. When kapanadze expressed his objection, he was awfully beaten by policemen and most active of them was the private Devhoz Gabatasvili.

After that, incident, when those policemen found out that kapanadze was going to sue their colleague, they tried to give the reporter a bribe, but their suggestion was denied. Policemen will be called in the Court as witnesses in the nearest future. Kapanadze demands 100 000 laries (about 50000$) as a compensation for his moral and physical abuse.

Gulua is still in the prison hospital

After a difficult surgical operation Finez Gulua is still in the prison hospital. Gulua is one of the suspects, who is charged with the participation in the terrorist act against president Shevardnasze committed on 9th of February, 1998. Nowadays Gulua has a fever, which is caused by surgical operation, but his life is not threatened any more. The trail was delayed to its of June because of the illness of the defendant.

Two candidates for the Public Defender’s vacancy

Next week the parliament of Georgia will discuss the candidates for the Public Defender’s post. Candidates are two – Mrs, Nana Devdariani the Socialist Party and Mr.Vakhtang Dzabiradze from Industrialists Party. The ruling party – Citizens’ Union of Georgia - has no candidate for that post. They think they already have the member of Citizens union on the past of the head of Parliament’s Committee on Human Rights Elene Tevdoradze and it’s a chance for opposition to have their candidate on the public Defender’s post. There are also some other candidates for Public Defender’s vacancy from various parties Tornike Berishvili, Temur Zhorzholani, Levan Berdzenishvili, etc, but no faction at the Parliament take any responsibilities for those candidates.

Mkhedrion wants to amend the law

"Mkedrioni" is going to apply to the parliament if Georgia and the Public defender’s office with request to make the necessary amendments to the law of Georgia on the Elections of the local Government Bodies. In particular, they want to change on article, which says, that on the constituencies with less then 2000 constituent’s independent candidates can not participate in elections. ‘’ Mkedrioni’’ has also applied to the Constitutional Court, where the number of their petition is only 132, which means that it cannot be discussed in the nearest future. "Mkedrioni" demands from the court to discuss their petition as soon as possible because the elections are coming up next year.

The lawyer of G.Kurashvili would live to pay a visit to President

The lawyer of ex teaching center in the Ministry of defense T. Goqsadze is going to ask the president to meet, he wants to inform the President that his client’s not guilty and also he wants to report about grave atmosphere in Georgian Military. The lawyer thinks that the act after the 1998 Eliava riot had been done should be repeated. 10 suspect pending on terr-act attempt. According to Goqsadze Kurashvili had already addressed the president about his innocence.

2406 citizens addressed the public defender

During the previous year 2409 citizens addressed the office of public defender in Georgia. The office prepared 131 recommendations on civil and criminal cases 65 accepted the rest are been worked on. The pleas relating to the Ministry of Interior counts – 160; Prosecutor’s office – 73; Penitentiary-234; Communal issues – 217; Social issues – 160. According to the office the number of socially unprotected population is increasing day by day. The applicants are merely citizens of Georgia. Not a single case had been reported on ethnic discrimination issue. The representatives of foreign Diaspora declare that, their problems are same as Georgian citizens. The fact emphasizes that Human Rights are not violated on ethnic origin.

Abkhazian IDP dies of famine

While one part of population spends money in casinos and restaurants others can not afford to buy daily bread. One can not complain against government because rich and poor are in every country but the things that happen in Georgia are really very grave. People die of famine. There are the cases of mature people 28-30 kilos of weight buried in deserted graves. On the 7th of June one more IDP died Kapiton Kvingia. He lived in the cellar of "Iveria" hotel, though it’s hard to call "living" when you die of famine.

51 years old man has no relatives in Tbilisi and thus no one to bury him. The neighbors decided to collect money for his funeral. The body is in the hall of "Iveria" hotel together with box for money.

As mentioned before the death of famine are happening very often these days and putting up with is a great crime.

Prisoners stay without Guards

The staff members of penitentiary guard department leave their job. 50% of them already left their protest caused by suspend salaries. After the reform of penitentiary they were promised to have salary 100 lari, food and clothes. Promised 100 lari turned to 75 but even it is not paid. Moreover no food and no clothing. Is that possible that soon penitentiary will stay without guards? – Of course if nothing changes.

Meeting with NGO’ s

The high commissioner of European Council on Human Rights protection Jose Alvaro – Robles visited the office of Public Defender to meet with local NGO’ s in order to discuss Human Rights violations in Georgia. The President of Human Rights protection Association of Georgia G. Kervalishvili gave the list of Human Rights violation facts. Robles condemns the events and facts take place in Georgia. Kervalishvili revealed the "information" given by the government and called it a lie.

According to him Robles was to decided that local NGO’ s have access to prisons and prisoners. He also informed Robles about Human Rights violation fact while dissolving meetings and torture of prisoners.

Pardoned Asanidze has to be released

On the press conference held in the Ministry of Foreign affairs. The high commissioner of European Council on Human Rights protection Jose Alvaro Hill Robles declared that Asanidze immediately has to be released. According D. Asanidze son of T. Asanidze Robles learned about the case from his mother.

The case is still surrounded with vagueness. Asanidze who was imprisoned in 1994 for money expenditure was condemned for 8 years of imprisonment President Sevardnadze has pardoned him last year but Adjarian government didn’t release him. Asanidze ran for Presidency on the 9th April elections and gathered 2793 votes.

"HUMAN RIGHTS IN GEORGIA"         # 10-11,  2000
This  is monthly bulletin "Human Rights in Georgia"

The present bulletin is part of our project: "Georgia: Support for Human Rights and Documentation Center", financed by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (United Kingdom).

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Editorial Board: Ucha Nanuashvili, George Jugheli, Paata Beltadze, George Garsevanishvili, George Djaniashvili, Vladimir Imnaishvili, David.Kiphiani. 

Contact information: The Independent Society "Human Rights in Georgia"
                                 Human Rights Information and Documentation Center

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