HUMAN RIGHTS IN GEORGIA



THE INDEPENDENT SOCIETY "HUMAN RIGHTS IN GEORGIA" Monthly bulletin # 3 / 2000

HUMAN RIGHTS INFORMATION AND DOCUMENTATION CENTER – HUMAN RIGHTS LIBRARY



Everyone has the rights to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 3

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The reform of the penitentiary
 

    Admittance to the European Council made necessary to develop the building of civil society and creation of democratic institutions. 70-years of totalitarian regime domination corrupted people’s mentality, left unprotected basic human rights and freedoms. The new approach in law enforcement is vital for the development of state. After the creation of new structure of common courts the most important now is the reform of the penitentiary, one cause that will strengthen human rights respect. In this context the reform of penitentiary launched recently is very interesting. Since 1 of January 2000 the prefetention cell of the Ministry of Internal Affairs had been abolished. The penitentiary came under the control of Ministry of Justice, this step was greeted with great hope from people protecting human rights. Should be mentioned that standing our prisons with word merits requires enormous funds. And this is too much for Georgians tiny budget, but in spite of this the work creating elementary conditions for the detainees must be started right now. Elene Tevdoradze, head of the committee of Human Rights protection of Parliament is sure that reform will be success. She highlights the problem from psychological point of view. It is an insult to be detained under the observance of the same structure which arrested a person. (Ministry of Interior). In the Ministry of Justice there is no lack of highly qualified specialists (lawyers) moreover the reform deprives penitentiary the law enforcement element and makes it more human. Detained persons are positively charged too. The Ministry of Justice which makes legal environment in our country will address the difficult task. The successful reform of penitentiary will make esteem of Georgia more profound on International arena and conduce to the development of democratic institutions. The policy of reforms has to change drastically the relations between state and citizens and develop the level of legal culture.
 

Journalists are persecuted in Georgia

On the 5th of February journalist Klara Abramia, persecuted by the minister of interior Kakha Targamadze left Georgia. She had already been granted political asylum in Sweden. So the Government of Georgia and law-

enforcement structures got rid of one more journalist. Targamadze on charges of defamation gave case to the office of General prosecutor. Prosecutors needed the permission of court to arrest Abramia, but Mtatsminda- Krtsanisi court decision left them down. The anger of Minister caused the publications in newspaper "Tutarchela" By her articles she insulted me"- got angry the Minister and runs to the Prosecutor office. The case investigated twice by investigator Zarandia was stopped on the 20thof August by Anzor Baluashvili as no criminal element was found. But a little later on the of 30 th of November the case was launched again because Targamadze got interested to arrest Abramia. And To say more liberal form Prosecutors office couldn’t protect the journalist. The result is that, Abramia is in Sweden now and is going to prove how mass-media is oppressed by law- enforcement officers. "Till Targamadze is the Minister of the Interior. I’ll never come back to Georgia"- declares Abramia. How long can pressure on journalists from the government can last?
 

Guards of Penitentiary are Altered

After the transfer of penitentiary to the Ministry of Justice it’ guards were altered. The order will be observed now by civilians instead of Internal Military Forces. Their nomination was competitive. Two factors were necessary to qualify – person should have served in compulsory military service and had no criminal conviction. There salary amounts – 83 Lari. Volunteers were disappointed, because the initial salary was 200-300 Laries. But it only left as a promise. The process began on 18 January 2000 and will finish in February. New Guards are wearing new uniforms dark blue jackets and same trousers. The uniform has white lines on the sides. The steadiness of the uniform is ensured by black pieces of cloth on the shoulders, arms, knees.

The Rights of Foreigners Are Violated in Geogia

International Law as well as Georgian constitution protects the rights of individual to move freely in his own or other countries, in accordance with visa regime and other regulations, of course. This principle is observed in all democratic countries. The exemption shouldn’t be our state too, because although we are in transitional period we claim a certain degree of democracy of our country. As a general rule foreigners visiting the country fall under its jurisdiction. This rule doesn’t spread on diplomatic representatives. In airports or similar installations foreign register offices are allocated. The absence of such installation gives a furtive grounds to the violations of foreigner’s rights in Georgia.

According to the presidential decree which contradicts the constitution and Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in Tbilisi operates "operative group" and its

function is to find foreigners and make them to fill in migrants cards. Insuring the fact it takes much time, energy and nerves of foreign citizens and it is only natural. The relationship with police can hardly be among the most present memories. police officers, rarely polyglots, as a rule contact with foreigners by means of gestures. According to the representatives of foreigner’s registration office the procedure is charge free. But according to foreigners some of them paid off. The question is how justified all this seems. The answer is simple all foreigners enjoy the same rights as Georgian citizens (except some political rights) among them the right of free movement. So the performance of such actions moreover seizing people in the streets is grave violation of Human rights.

Such facts in the country which claims itself democratic shadows its international image. The violation of such kind must be revealed by all legal institutes, NGO’s and mass-media in order to reinforce the society control over government. Only the activities of certain TV – companies on the background of reluctens of others won’t change the picture.

Independent society "Human Rights in Georgia" will continue its activities, in this field and try to attract the attention of NGO’s society and and government structures.
 
 

Refugee or IDP: The Comments of Lawyer

The dramatic events which took place in our country in 90 is gravely affected our state. We speak about tragedy in Abkazia. "refugees", "IDP", " Forcibly displaced persons"- so are regaled, they by mass- media and government representatives in informal talks and formal documents. All the above mentioned regards to the same people- inhabitants of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region. And all and all who are they? Refugees or IDP’s or so on, is that a mistake to confuse these notions? According to the law of Georgia "on Refugees" (18. 02. 98): "Refugee is a person who is not a citizen of Georgia, and Georgia is not his/her country of origin and who owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reason of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or owing to such fear is unwilingto avail himself of the protection of that country."

So the refugee is a citizens of foreign country who crossed an international border. According to the law he is persecuted for his race, religion and so on… as a result he fleets his country and seeks refuge in other state.

According to the law of Georgia "on IDP’s, An IDP is the citizen of Georgia or stateless person permanently living in Georgia who was forced to live his habitual residence, because his life or health of life and health of his family members or their freedoms was threatened by foreign aggression internal conflicts or mass violations of human rights.

It’s obvious that we should use term "refugee" more carefully because in historical or legal since Abkhazia and Samachablo are integral parts of Georgia and person from this place is IDP. Forcibly displaced person and IDP are the same.

Definitions given in above mentioned laws is in conformity with rules and customs international law. And finally in many international meetings and summits even representatives of Georgian delegations confuse these notions. Moreover while our high-rank officials finding out which term is right and making "unintentional mistakes" it resulted in conclusion of score useless treaties which are obstacles to the restoration of territorial integrity of Georgia.
 
 

Announcement

Independent society "Human Rights in Georgia " with the support of Westminster Foundation for Democracy performers the project which contains charge free legal constitutions. All persons interested in Human Rights Protection issues can contact US either by phone or personally. Legal consultation works every day 11-17. Adress:3rd Floor, Marjanishvili Street, 380002, Tbilisi, Georgia. Tel/Fax: (995 32) (95-48-35). E-mail:

ucha@altern.org

ishrg@caucasus.net

URL: http://www.fly. to/ishrg

* * *

On the base of "Independent Society Human Rights in Georgia" library on Human Rights is functioning. Interested people can get acquainted with proper materials on Human Rights in Georgian, English, Russian and German languages. Library works 11-17.

Working with Conflict

May 1-July 7, 2000, Birmingham, UK

A course by Responding To Conflict

A highly practical, experience-based course for people working in areas of instability and conflict. Especially suitable for NGO staff, aid workers, those concerned with rights, relief, reconstruction and development. Includes conflict analysis, group dynamics, negotiation, mediation, trauma, confidence-building, conflict prevention and much else. Places limited. Some scholarships available. Applications now for courses based in the UK. This is a ten week course. Modules can be taken individually if required. Priority will be given to people doing the whole course.

Course modules:

Understanding Conflict and Change (1 May - 19 May)

Organising Effectively (22 May - 2 June)

Strategies for Addressing Conflict and Building Peace (5 June - 23 June)

Preparing for Action (26 June - 7 July)

Modules can be taken separately. The course is limited to 30 people. Partial scholarships available on successful application.

For more information, please contact:

RTC

Selly Oak Colleges (RI),

1046 Bristol Road,

Birmingham B29 6LJ, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)121 415 5641.

Fax: +44 (0)121 415 4119.

enquiries@respond.org

http://www.respond.org/
 
 

The Summer Peace-building Institute

May 8 - June 30, 2000, Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA

The Summer Peacebuilding Institute, at Eastern Mennonite University is designed to provide specialised, intensive training in peacebuilding, conflict transformation and restorative justice to practitioners from around the world. Structured in 5 sessions, each session is 7 days and has 3 courses running concurrently per session.

Contact:

Tel: +1 540 432 4490

Fax: +1 540 432 4449

ctprogram@emu.edu

http://www.emu.edu/ctp/spi_2000

Graduate Certificate Course in Conflict Transformation

June 5-16, 19-23 2000, Brattleboro, Vermont, USA

Conflict Transformation Across Cultures (CONTACT) is sponsoring a Graduate Certificate in Conflict Transformation.

Participants can enroll in a 2-3 week residential Summer Institute or a Graduate Certificate program, which includes 4 weeks in residence at the School for International Training (SIT) in Vermont, followed by coursework delivered through interactive distance learning and a seminar, held either at a regional fieldsite or at SIT.

CONTACT provides core skills and practical tools for analyzing and responding to conflict in intergroup, communal and public life. The program utilizes a participatory, experiential approach that includes case studies, simulations, role-plays and group work. The CONTACT program is offered in partnership with the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD) and the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding.

For more information contact:

Center for Social Policy and Institutional Development, SIT

Tel: +1 802 258-3339

Fax: +1 802 258-3248

cspid@sit.edu

http://www.sit.edu/conflict
HUMAN RIGHTS LAW AND PRACTICE PROGRAMME

with particular reference to

The European Convention on Human Rights

This programme has been established by the Institute to provide lawyers and judges, primarily from countries in Central and Eastern Europe, with academic training and practical experience in the field of human rights law. It integrates the international and constitutional approaches to securing human rights and is designed to help the participants to make a useful contribution to the resolution of existing and future human rights problems in their own countries. This is the tenth such programme to be organised by the Institute in collaboration with the Council of Europe. Additional funding for participants is provided by the United Nations.

The programme is divided into two stages, academic and practical. These two stages are concerned with the protection of human rights at both the national and international level so as to provide a relatively complete picture of the possible problems, strategies and solutions. The academic and practical stages last for six and four weeks respectively. The former will be held at the University of Birmingham and the second at various law firms and institutions in England, Ireland and Scotland.

The academic stage will be based on daily seminars (for which the participants will be expected to have done some preparatory reading) covering eight broad areas relating to the legal protection of human rights.

For additional information please contact Independent Society "Human Rights in Georgia" or Institute of European Law, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, England; fax (44) 121 414 3585, tel. (44) 121 414 6330, email J.McBride@bham.ac.uk.
"HUMAN RIGHTS IN GEORGIA"         # 3,  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).
All your comments and suggestions are welcome. We will highly appreciate your cooperation and be happy to help you send your announcements and information to our mailing-list members.
The hard copy of bulletin (in English and Georgian) is available at our office

Editorial Board: Ucha Nanuashvili, George Jugheli, Paata Beltadze, George Garsevanishvili, George Djaniashvili, 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 99) 50 80 36;        Fax: (995 32) 95 48 35.
E-mail:ishrg@caucasus.net, ishr g@altern.org Internet: http://www.fly.to/ishrg