HUMAN RIGHTS IN GEORGIA


THE INDEPENDENT SOCIETY "HUMAN RIGHTS IN GEORGIA" Monthly bulletin # 12/13 2000

HUMAN RIGHTS INFORMATION AND DOCUMENTATION CENTER – HUMAN RIGHTS LIBRARY



,,All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination."

Article 7(2)

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

In today's issue:
Human Rights are ignored in Georgia

The Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe Mr. Alvaro Hill-Robles, who is now visiting Georgia, considers the situation in the field of human rights protection as unsatisfactory.

As he had emphasized, there are a lot of serious problems in this field – Non-Governmental organizations presented him number of facts of serious violations of human rights from police, such as arbitrary detentions, facts of torture in prisons, etc. In Mr. Hill-Robles’ opinion the most unprotected part of population is thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons who suffer from famine and poor living conditions. ,, However, - said Mr. Hill-Robes, - IDP s from Abkhazia are in better position than refugees from Chechnya, who receive the humanitarian aid".

Tevdoradze suspects policemen

The resident of village Sabatlo (Dedoplistskaro region) Albert Natroshvili was found murdered in his village. Police says, his son murdered him. The Head of Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights Mrs. Elene Tevdoradze doubts in what police says, and blames policemen for Natroshvili’s murder. Last time people saw Natroshvili entering the police department building. Also the forensic medicine confirmed that Natroshvili was tortured.

What do the solders eat?

A spoiled food became the cause of disability of Private Emzar Dzadzamia. As the head of the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights Ms. Elene Tevdoradze says, the spoiled food was imported by the organization ,,Tanadgoma". Ms. Tevdoradze visited private Dzadzamia at the Army-hospital. Tevdoradze demands to examine private’s physical conditions thoroughly, because 18-months ago, when he was called up in army, he was absolutely healthy. However, after 18 months service he became invalid.

One more victim of Police

Army officer Nodar Saralidze was brought to the Army-hospital after he was awfully beaten by two policemen near his military base. He has a lot of serious injuries all over the body and his clothes were soaked with blood.

Saralidze’s colleges applied to the military prosecutor to initiate an investigation. As Ms. Elene Tevdoradze emphasized, "it’s not the first time when the citizen, beaten by policemen, appears at hospital. That’s because nobody is punished for their arbitrary actions yet."

New registration of IDP-s is necessary

While the conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia are still not settled, the living conditions of Internally Displaced Persons are still deteriorating. During last months they haven’t even received their pensions which are very poor itself. The question of their resettlement remains problematic

Public Defender’s Office suggests to make a new registration of IDP-s with IDP-cards receive the social assistance designated only for IDP-s.

The Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation, which issues the IDP-cards, needs an exact number of IDP-s to avoid the above mentioned incidents.

The decision-making process at courts, is dragged out

Court-decisions are not always observed in Georgia. According to the statistics the situation is as follow:

1996 year__________17976 decisions___________3989 observed;

1997 year__________24477 decisions__________21533 observed;

1998 year__________32287 decisions__________21535 observed;

1999 year__________36784 decisions__________25321 observed.

The main part of the court-decisions, which are still not observed, concerns the civil cases.

The suspect in terroristic act dazzled

One of the suspects in preparation of terroristic act against the President of Georgia, former lieutenant of Police Otar Mikeladze was arrested on 27th may, 1999. Mikeladze is a participant of the armed conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, where he was fighting for the territorial integrity of Georgia. Mikeladze is permanently suppressed in prison. As a result of beating and other inhuman and degrading treatment Mikeladze dazzled. During 11 days after his arrest, Mikeladze’s family didn’t even know where he was. As he says, he was beaten everyday, he had terrible headaches and couldn’t even recollect names of his children. He was given only 100 gr. of water per day. Mikeladze thinks, he is innocent and hopes the court will take the same decision.

Kakubava was to make a speech at the Parliament

The head of the parliament’s Human Rights Committee Elene Tevdoradze referred to the Charmin of the Parliament for giving an opportunity to Boris Kakubava to make a speech at the Parliament. Tevdoradze says, Kakubava doesn’t think he is guilty and has his own arguments to prove that. The question of suspending his status was delayed.

Protest meeting in front of the Parliament building

On 16th of June 50 years old Tamara Karibova attempted to commit a suicide in front of the parliament building. It was a form of protest against police action, who has arbitrarily arrested his son. After two hours Karibov and her relatives managed to meet Michael Saakashvili.

In 1997 Karibovas son was charged with hooligan actions which caused public

disorder, but police blamed him for murder, which he had not committed; as a result he was sentenced for life imprisonment. As his mother says, they have 15 eyewitnesses who confirm his sons alibi, but prosecutor denies to examine them and demands 3000 us Dollars for that.

Hungry-strike for releasing the rest of the prisoners

Recently released supporters of ex-president are going to start a hungry-strike from June 1 with a demand to release their former 47 co-prisoners remaining in the jail. They where not pardoned because of the categories of crimes they had committed. As a result of the last negotiations 200 prisoners have been released; some of them were supporters of ex-president. Now the question of releasing the other prisoners, who are still remaining in jail, is up to the special commission, which must take the final decision until June 1.

There are 6900 Chechen refugees in Georgia

The Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation of Georgia is against the resettlement of Chechen refugees, who live in Pankisi Valley, in special camps, which are to be built. The head of the Department of Refugees and Asylum-seekers of the Ministry Mr. Irakli Pirtskalava says, Chechen refugees are already accommodated in Pankisi and they put up with the living conditions there. Besides, the building of new refugee camps is connected with expenses which government can not afford to subsidize.

Nowadays, officially there are 6900 refugees registered in Georgia.

Georgia has a new Public Defender

On 16th of June Parliament of Georgia finally appointed member of socialist party Nana Devdariani on the post of Public defender, which was vacant during the last months. 198 members of Parliament were for this decision, only 2 were against. Nana devdariani is the second Public defender for Georgia. As Devdariani says, she absolutely realizes the responsibility that she had taken, because she was involved in women’s rights protection movement from 1993 and knows how hard and difficult it is to protect human rights in Georgia.

New organization for the protection of human rights

Several non-governmental, non-political organizations in Georgia have established Caucasian Directorate for Human Rights. The Directorate members are the following organizations: Committee against Torture, Union for Democratic Principles and Human Rights Protection, Constitutional Rights Protection Center, Independent Society "Human Rights in Georgia", Organization for the Protection of Prisoners’ Social Rights.

The main goal of the Directorate is to create a joint system for the protection of human rights in Caucasus region. Directorate will support all new initiatives of any governmental or non- governmental organizations, which will be relevant to the goals of the Directorate.

Europe against trafficking

Participants of Hague Summit called the European law-enforcement bodies for the co-operation against the trafficking in Europe. Representatives of Belgium, Holland, France, Germany and Great Britain declared that this problem could be solved only by the joint efforts.

The meeting was called after the horrible crime took place in Donery port, which took 58 lives. The main purpose of the meeting was to attract the attention of society to one of the most inhuman crimes such as trafficking.

The decision of the commission of experts

The detainee Mamuka Rizhamadze was found dead in his prison cell on 31st of March. An independent commission concludes, that Rizhamadze’s death was caused by the physical violence against him and excludes the version of suicide.

Member of the parliament Ms. Elene Tevdoradze doubts that Rizhamadze has committed a suicide and also finds suspicious why the detainee was transferred from Tkibuli prison to Kutaisi .

The member of independent commission Ms. Maia Nikoleishvili states that the body is beaten and it was hanged after Rizhamadze died to make an illusion that detainee committed a suicide.

Mrs. Elene Tevdoradze expressed her serious concern about the fact and regret that nobody was punished for such an awful crime yet.

Rurua’s lawyer demands the release of his client

Member of "Mkhedrioni" Rurua, wanted by Georgian Police, had been arrested in the United States and extradited to Tbilisi. Rurua is charged with the committing of extortion and kidnapping. He is also suspected as one of the accomplices in murder of Gia Svanidze and Zaza Vepkhvadze.

For the present time there are no strong evidences to prove the above mentioned accusations. Rurua considers himself innocent and remains silent. His lawyer Gogmar Gabunia also thinks that Rurua is not guilty and demands to release his client. On 5th of July the court will take a final decision on the issue.

Extradition of the embassy official

Georgian diplomat George Makharadze, who was serving a term of imprisonment in the United States, was transmitted to Tbilisi. Nowadays, he is in the prison-hospital, where the specialists are examining his state of health. According to the deputy head of the penitentiary department of the Ministry of Justice Mr. Melor Kvaratskhelia, Makharadze has an ischemia. The final decision on his state of health will be taken within 10 days. George Makharadze will remain in prison-hospital until the complete recovering of his health. As it is known, George Makharadze, prime adviser of Georgian ambassador in USA, had been charged with the murder of the 16 years old girl in car accident that took place in Washington. According to the Georgian Criminal Code, Makharadze will spend next 9 years in prison.

The hungry-strike for the support of Political prisoners

The mass international strike actions of political prisoners and their supporters began on 5th of July. According to the Coordination and Information Center of Political Prisoners, the strike actions will begin in Poland, Finland, USA, Germany, France and all over Georgia. The demonstrants demand an unconditional release of all political prisoners and the termination of the criminal cases againt them.

Ten political prisoners (Guram Absnadze, Loti Kobalia, Feniz Gulua and others) have already went on hungry-strike.

The European Human Rights Court is interested in Absnadze case

''The Court of Strasbourg requested from the government of Georgia to send them all court decisions regarding the suspects in the participation in the terroristic act against the president of Georgia''- said Mr. Murman Zakaraia from the Center of Political Prisoners. According to him, Strasbourg Court has a serious doubts that trails of the above mentined suspects goes with the violations.

Government pushes Valter Shurgaia back to prison

Former political prisoner Valter Shurgaia is concerned about his friends, also political prisoners, who remain in prison. ''If the government will not release my friends, I prefere to go back to proson''- says Shurgaia.

The law will pass in the Parliament in the nearest future

Becauce of the hard social and economic situation in Georgia, many females choose the prostitution as the only sourse of existance. The Ministries of Justice and Inrernal Affairs began the elaboration of draft law on prostitution from 1998. This very problem caused a serious disputes among the society. In the majority's opinion, the legalization of prostitution will facilitate the increase of the number of prostitutes and brothels. Nowadays, according to the Georgian legislation the prostitution is punishable.

Rights of population are violated

In hottest summer days, when the temperature reaches some 35-40 degrees, the drinking water shortage problems are extremely painful for the population. One of the most difficult situations is in Rustavi City, where people are deprived of drinking water more than one week. The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development transferred one million US dollars to the Rustavi City administration for the regulation of drinking water supply system, but nothing is done so far. Even in the recent period, when the City received drinking water twice a week, it couldn’t reach the 3rd – 4th floors of block houses.

Independent expert has suspended the activities

On the 4th of July, independent expert, Maia Nikoleishili came to police department to conduct the final expert examination. As the lawyer of suspect and his parents had asked her, the expert conclusion had to reveal the fatal wounds that appeared in suspect’s body. Maia Nikolihvili suspended her activities because of the distrust to the state expert’s decision. The expert explained her action as a form of protest against an expert bureau of the court. According to an independent expert decision, Mamuka Rizhamadze’s death was caused by brain damage. Decisions of the both experts will be checked at the department of court expertise of the Tbilisi Medical University.

The Public Defender is involved in ethnic conflict settlement

The senior consultant of the Supreme Council of Abkhazia David Silagadze discussed the role of public diplomacy in the ethnic conflict settlement in Abkhazia with the Public Defender Ms. Nana Devdariani. They think that ethnic conflicts could be settled only by means of public diplomacy.

Abkhazian party is against the repatriation of Georgian refugees and internally displaced persons in Abkhazia; especially, they are against the repatriation of those persons, who were the combatants of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict.

The Public Defender met the Abkhazian non-governmental organizations. She expressed wish to make such meetings permanent in order to facilitate the role of public diplomacy in the conflict settlement process.

Domukhovsky calls Kitovani provocateur

The former member of the Parliament of Georgia Victor Domukhovsky, currently resident of Poland, expressed his indignation concerning the statement of the former Minister of Defense Tengiz Kitovani. As Kitovani said, there are a lot of Chechen and Arab terrorists in Pankisi valley. Domukhovsky met Kitovani in prison and became confident that Kitovani is Russian agent and that he has received instructions from Moscow to excite rebellion against Ex-president Zviad Gamsakhurdia.
,,HUMAN RIGHTS IN GEORGIA"         # 12-13,  2000
This  is monthly bulletin "Human Rights in Georgia"

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

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