HUMAN RIGHTS IN GEORGIA


THE INDEPENDENT SOCIETY "HUMAN RIGHTS IN GEORGIA" Monthly bulletin # 18-19/2001

HUMAN RIGHTS INFORMATION AND DOCUMENTATION CENTER – HUMAN RIGHTS LIBRARY


Online version of the "Human Rights in Georgia": www.ishrg.org

"Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him"

Article 10

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

www.ishrg.org

Good News from the Independent Society "Human Rights in Georgia"!

Our new web-site www.ishrg.org is up. We have initiated this project in order to facilitate the development of Human Rights electronic data on the World Wide Web concerning Georgia. Page will contain information about our organization, projects that we are working on, as well as Georgia country reports published by ISHRG, other local or international non-governmental organizations and governments. Page will be developed to meet the increasing demand on universally accessible human rights online data about Georgia. Since this page can serve as the reference source for human rights information about Georgia to any interested persons, organizations or foreign governments, we urge everyone to visit it often, as the updates will be posted regularly. Web-site contains special page where you can access electronic version of organizations bulletin, which is also updated on regular basis. In one word … it's just the beginning.

Prisons without guard

What's going on in Georgian Penitentiary?! The first step towards so-called "democratization" of the system was the transfer of penitentiary in hands of Ministry of Justice from the Ministry of Interior. There is nothing strange in such phenomena itself, but after the local government is holding back for so long, the bottom line is that the reform is pretty much frozen.

The guards, because of absence of salary, gradually leave a prison, which creates deficit of work force on site. Despite of their hard work, guards are left not only without salary, but also without appropriate clothing and food supply. Because of these problems only half of the guard personnel retain their job. When asked, Givi Kvarelashvili, head of the Penitentiary Department, refused the fact so far, but now it's time that he has to face the truth.

On the 23-rd of August Guards launched a protest action in front of First Isolator (penitentiary facility) demanding payment of their unpaid salaries. Soon they were peacefully dissolved, possibly after some negotiations and endless false promises from the authorities.

It also needs to be mentioned that recently guards brought a civil action against the Ministry of Interior in Krtsanisi-Mtatsminda Court demanding their salaries that were unpaid almost for a year.

No comments…

 

The fate of terrorism perpetrators

On the 2 of September Giga Gelashvili, Head of former militant group "Rescue Corps", one of the perpetrators of 1995 terrorist-act against President Shevardnadze, has to move from Ortachala prison to colony. The Head of the prison Shota Kapanadze declares that what made authorities act in the favor of Gelashvili is the fact that he was law-abiding prisoner. Other perpetrators, ex-Security Service officers: Avtandil Gogotishvili and Guram Papukashvili are imprisoned in Khoni (Western Georgia) colony, where former members of law enforcement staff are placed also. Gela Papukashvili and Temur Kurdiani are serving their term in Avchala colony and Gocha Tediashvili - in Ortachala Prison.

The prosecution of some of the ex-president

Supporters will be concluded

According to Vasil Maglaperidze, Head of Reconciliation Commission of Georgian Parliament, the General Prosecutor's office has list of 120 supporters of ex-president Zviad Gamsakhurdias, whose prosecution procedures are have to be stopped. He also mentioned that in near future 48 cases of such kind would be revised and these people released. According to General Prosecutors with co-operation of the Chairmen of Supreme Court, Lado Chanturia, they agree to halt prosecution of 140 ex-president supporters in case if they get appropriate written consent. Many organizations in Georgia and overseas have declare these 140 persons persecuted on political grounds, 48 of whom are widely recognized as political prisoners.

Ioseliani is waiting for response from Strasburg

 

Two months ago leader of "Mkedrioni" Jaba Ioseliani brought an action in European Court of Human Rights to prove his innocence in terrorist-act perpetration charges brought against him by Georgian authorities. He hasn't got any response so far. He appeals to the famous decision of CEC (Central Election Commission) 3 according to which he enjoyed immunity as the Member of Parliament during the assassination attempt against Georgian President. According to Elene Tevdoradze, Head of the Parliamentary Human Rights Committee, late response is caused by the legal procedural requirements of the Court.

 

The 5th anniversary of terrorist act against Shevardnadze

According to Mrs. Elene Tevdoradze, Head of the Parliament Human Rights Committee "Terrorist act against president is not practically investigated. Until the former chief of Georgian Security Service Igor Giorgadze is not arrested, many questions will remain open". As regards arrested persons the charges against Nika Kvezereli, Head of "Omega" squad was bizarre and it was proved accordingly in the Court. Tevdoradze believes that Jaba Ioseliani did not have direct connection with mentioned terrorist act but could not prevent it as well.

 

The fourth fugitive is arrested

Law enforcement forces arrested David Shoshiashvili the last of four fugitives, who escaped from Poti Psychiatric Clinic. In April Gela Surmava, George Tkemaladze and David Shoshiashvili attacked the guards before they escaped. Later they were accused in committing of such serious crimes like murder, rape and so on…

There are about a million Georgian migrants

Existing economic hardship and compelling political chaos in Georgia highly raised migration flow. Many people leave Georgia in order to improve their material conditions. Some of them stay abroad for good.

According to head of Migration Control Department of Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation, Mr. Toma Gugushvili, 995 000 Georgian citizens are abroad nowadays. 595 000 have left country for good (60%), other 40 000 (40%) temporarily.

Out of 995 000 67% live in Russia, 4% in Ukraine, 24% beyond the boundaries of ex USSR. 44% of entire number of emigrants are Georgians and 2% Abkhazians.

Due to Ossetian conflict 70 000 persons became IDPs; Abkazian tragedy made 160 000 persons IDPs; but political and economic situation in country has lion's share in migration - it made migrants 765 000 persons.

After political killing Kervalishvili is

Concerned with fate of Akaki Eliava's supporters

"Sanaia, Gvazava and Zarkua are kept as hostages by government" – says the President of Non-Governmental Organization,"Human Rights Protection Association of Georgia"-George Kervalishvili. Kervalishvili made this declaration since Persecutor's office lawyer, loyal to Shevardnadze's regime refused to release the supporters of Akaki Eliava.

Kervalishvili argues that on the 9th of July Akaki Eliava – one of the active supporters of former president, was killed in Zestaponi Police station accordingly to the order given by the current regime and those three detained persons (Sanaia, Gvazava and Zarkua ) did know the truth. Government does not want people to learn what happened on the 9th of July. Kervalishvili sent letters to Human Rights Protection International Organizations informing them that Sanaia, Gvazava and Zurkua might be are under physical and psychological torture and abuse.

 

The case of failed terrorist act will be submitted to court

According to Malkhaz Salakaia, Deputy head of Investigation Department of Ministry of Interior, the case of persons accused in perpetration of terrorist act will be submitted to court". Total numbers of 13 persons are accused in this case. One of them is General Gujar Kurashvili who is accused that he has met ex-Security chief of Georgia (wanted by INTERPOL) Igor Giorgadze in Beirut.

Care for wounded prisoner

Head of the Parliamentary Human Rights Committee Elene Tevdoradze has visited prisoner Otar Maisuradze in Prison Hospital who was wounded in knee by cops during his arrest. According to Tevdoradze prisoner's health condition does not give opportunity to examine him. At the beginning Maisuradze was treated in the public hospital and later was transferred to prison hospital. According to Tevdoradze the prisoner is treated properly.

Are Baptists persecuted in Georgia?

"Police actions perpetrate religious conflicts in Georgia" declared Elene Tevdoradze, Head of Parliamentary Human Rights Committee after Tianeti region police officers have arrested local Baptist priest and removed all confiscated all relics from his church.

When Bishop contacted Tevdoradze, she made everything possible to release the priest, but the property of church was not returned to the owner. The representatives of Harvard and Massachusetts Universities called up Tevdoradze and asked why Baptists are persecuted in Georgia. Tevdoradze contacted Tianeti Police chief who informed that Police station located near the Church was crowded by people. Police officers declared that if anybody from the owners needed to take those things back they are free to do it. This declaration carried insulting character. Certainly, there is no law in Georgia prohibiting Baptist movement. Tevdoradze believes that there are some forces that are interested in instigation of religious conflicts in Georgia.

 

Child –trafficking in Georgia

Georgia has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 21 April 1994. But the rights of children are violated everyday. In certain cases traffickers are mostly the representatives of Criminal "justice" – police, they work in streets where many homeless kids are gathered. As the result most of them end up exploited in the sex trade and child labor.

Several NGO's work with such children – who live, work, or trade in streets. Lia Merkviladze, Psychologist, thinks, that there is rather organized child trafficking system. In order to become the victim of trafficking it's not necessary to cross the borders of country.

When 7-8 years old children are involved in labor and are paid much less than the elders, this can be considered as trafficking already. ,"In Gldani district infant's police division I was told, that 9 years old girl was a prostitute" – says Lia Merkviladze. Estimates climb up daily for the number of children living on the streets or insecure homes. In several occasions, there are parents who let their children make their living in streets. Children very soon appear in the net of traffickers.

Issues like the commercialization of child sexual abuse, forced trafficking of children rise wide range of health and legal concerns. We may wish to discuss strategies, which can help all these categories of children and youth One successful strategy can be bringing together youth workers and agencies with diverse perspectives. Another successful strategy rests in preparing of essential legal basis by legislature and implementation of assumed responsibilities under Convention on the Rights of the Child by Country authorities

Member Organizations of the Human Rights Directorate of Caucasus - Georgian Committee Against Torture

Georgian Committee Against Torture was established on 10th of December 1993. Since 1996 the committee is accredited in UN, OSCE and CIS regional conferences in prevention group of OSCF.

Goals and objectives of the committee are:

Carried out and current programs

  1. Free legal assistance of human rights violations, representation in courts; research (monitoring) of Human Rights – since 1993;
  2. In Georgian was prepared, issued and charge free was disseminated UN minimum rules not connected with imprisonment (Tokyo rules) – 1994;
  3. UN publication was prepared for issue in Georgian – Fact review #17, ,,annex of which convention against torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" was published in scientific magazine of Parliament advisors independent council ,,Utskebani" (#3, 1997);
  4. In potential conflict zone – monitoring of human rights and peace education;

Results:

5. Within the program of MAG/MSDP, by grant of JOM (7000$) research project was performed - ,,emigration from Georgian and it's reasons"- 1997 – 98.

Result:

Was analyzed the dynamics of migration flows in 1994-96-98 and discriminatory factors in emigration structures, also the reasons of emigration was analyzed;

  1. By grant of OSCE/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (1500$) for high rank officials of education system, and donor organizations operating in Georgia was arranged - ,,Teaching of Human Rights in schools and technical institutions". 05.XII.1997.

Goals: discussion of barriers of teaching Human Rights in Georgia; lobby of recommendations (R#(85)7) of EC committee of ministers on ,,teaching human rights at schools"; implementation of high standards of teaching Human Right; training of teachers in Human Rights;

Results:

  1. Research was made to assess the situation in higher classes in the field of legal education - 1998/1999;
  2. Result:

    Recommendations were discussed and adopted by Educational division of Tbilisi Mayor's Office;

  3. Experts of the committee participated, as invited lectures, in UNICEF funded project –"Teaching of the convention on rights of child" for IV class pupils (More than 750 teachers were trained) – 1999-2000.
  4. 20 minutes video of Amnesty International was prepared in Georgian (Animated cartoon video on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights).
  5. Result:

    Film is used in seminars and workshops – 25/12/1999 – 10/01/2000.

  6. With the financial support of the British Embassy and within the program of Public Defender's Office of Georgia two booklets were prepared and distributed in big quantities charge free: "the rights of the accused persons" and "damaged person and civil plaintiff in criminal case" (May, 2000).
  7. UN standards on treatment of juvenile delinquents and guiding principles on preparation of crime among juveniles were translated and prepared for issue.


"HUMAN RIGHTS IN GEORGIA" # 18-19, 2000
This is monthly bulletin "Human Rights in Georgia"

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Editorial Board: Ucha Nanuashvili, George Jugheli, George Garsevanishvili, George Djaniashvili, David Kipiani, Vladimir Imnaishvili

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

Office address: 3-rd floor, 5, Mardjanishvili street, Tbilisi, 380002, Georgia.

Tel: (995 32) 95-48-35; (995 77) 45 96 26; (995 99) 50 80 36; Fax: (995 32) 95 48 35.
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