HUMAN RIGHTS IN GEORGIA


THE INDEPENDENT SOCIETY "HUMAN RIGHTS IN GEORGIA" Monthly bulletin # 8/9 2000

HUMAN RIGHTS INFORMATION AND DOCUMENTATION CENTER – HUMAN RIGHTS LIBRARY



"Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law…"

Article 6

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

In today's issue:
Georgian Police – against human rights

On 8th June, 2000 Public Relations Officer of the Independent Society "Human Rights in Georgia" and the reporter of the independent newspaper "Dilis Gazeti" Mr. George Chanadiri was arbitrarily detained by police officers. As George says, he was standing in front of his office, waiting for his friend, when couple of drunk policemen approached him and ordered to get in police car. When he asked the reason, policemen forcedly pushed George into the car. Fortunately, he managed to escape while policemen were getting in the car and ran towards his office.

The Independent Society "Human Rights in Georgia" expresses its deep confusion because of the above mentioned incident and calls Georgian police to stop the violation of human rights and respect the freedoms and rights.

Evaluation of 1999-92 events

It’s known that, before presidential elections the protest actions held by political prisoners were stopped. The act of parliament was acceptable for both sides. But it becomes evident that the agreement is going to be breached. On parliamentary session the issue won’t be discussed according to the 8th April act. The coordinate council of political prisoners made an announcement. As the member of council Murman Zakaraia

declared - the day on they worked on open act which would become the basis of political manifesto. The new step forwards the national reconciliation had to be taken. It’s a mistake to trust current political leadership, they never keep their promise we had to take document acceptable to everyone and the first steps were made correct-civil war and instability in the country but later-everything changed.



Dzabiradze for Ombudsman

On the bureau session parliamentary fraction ,,Mretsvelebi" (industry) nominated Vakhtand Dzabiradze for public defender. Dzabiradze formerly was the member of Republican [party and now he represents ,,Industry saved Georgia". Socialist party nominates Nana Devdariani other fractions has not yet nominated their candidates.



The fight for release of others continues

The co-ordinate center of political prisoners is going to arrange demonstrations unless prisoner are released. According to them there are 36 political prisoners in Georgia. One category of these people do not commit murder, others do not Deny their crimes but declare, That it was due to civil disturbances. The third category are represented by persons who are charged with 9-th February Terrorist-act perpetration.


Zaur Kvaratskelia is still detained

Sevdia Ugrexelidze the advocate of Akaki Eliava supporter Z.Kvaratskhelia addressed Military Prosecutors office to change the prisoners position. She desires to bail Kvaratskhelia. The ex-director of sub-tropical institute was arrested in Zugdidi on charges of 1998 19-th October riot perpetration and ,,high treason"


Did Raduev charge Archvadze-Gamsaxurdia with terrorism?

Imprisoned Salman Raduev is under special observance. Russian government who fights terrorism in Chechnya treats Raduev in particular manner. Raduev claimed responsibility for 1998 terrorist act on Shevardnadze. This declaration was met with a kind of cynicism from General Prosecutors office. Before Raduev’s Detention the investigation was, in a common manner, closed and sent to the supreme court. Instead of examining Raduev one of the ,,organizers" ex finance Minister Absnadze was arrested and extradited to Georgia. General Prosecutor’s office declared: ,,We don't think that Raduev’s declaration is close to truth". But it appears that the position changed and they sent an agent to examine Raduev. According to the informal information Raduev blames ex-president widow. Orde Bedia – the head of investigation division declared - ,, We have certain information that needs further examination, I can’t say anything but the evidence shows that certain people with face responsibility issues."


UN criticism for Russia

UN human Rights commission adopted a resolution in Geneva criticizing Russian policy in North Caucasus. The decision was opposed by several states in particular Russia itself, China, Cuba and India. The document focuses on grave breaches of human rights in Chechnia by Russia Military officers Russia is required to set up special commission to investigate human rights issues and punish offenders. The reaction was rather hush Egor Ivanov, the minister of foreign affairs declares that the resolution is a political one and may aggravate the situation in Chechnia. Vasili Sidorov, the Russian representative in Geneva, says that the declaration is wrong and does not take into account the treat of terrorism. During Dudaev and Maskhadov regimes no one even talked about human Rights in Chechnia. US state secretary Olbraight supported the resolution and reaffirmed that Russians think it is purely political one.

OSCE criticizes the government of Georgia

The president of OSCE parliamentary assembly Helen Dian deems that Georgian legislation needs further work and has to come into conformity with European standards. The most important for OSCE is to see the real aspiration of Georgian Government to hold democratic elections. She stressed on breaches during the election process: the registration of
candidates, the problems of transparency, the genuine inclination of state mass-media towards the president and so on. According to the CEC (central election commission) chairman the problematic issue become the amendment made in election law. Also the problems were related with financial matters which caused the poor level of elections held.
 

Police seized the strike

Current week, about 300 police officers, seized (using force) the strike of 60 members of Merab Kostava society who blocked the railway road demanding the transfer of their own lands to permanent, no term and free possession, Merab Kostava Society claimed the act as gross violation of human rights. The same

demands was presented by the chairman of Society Vazha Adamia who continues his hungry strike in front of State Chancellery for 31 days. The lands were given to society in 1990-91. Part of which they were deprived two years ago and part nowadays because of inability to pay the rent.


It doesn’t matter who the Public defender will be

,,An institution of the Public defender is useless until the government of Georgia is far from the position it must have in society",-said the Secretary General of the People’s Party of Georgia Mr. George Kobakhidze when he was talking about new candidates for the vacancy of Public Defender. As he has mentored, this

institution works only in the country with democratic systems. ,,Georgia is not based on democratic systems nowadays as well as in the period of the Soviet times", - noted Kobaxidze, who thinks that personification of candidates will change nothing.

Tevdoradze rejected a proposal to take the post of Public Defender

The head of Human Rights Committee of the Parliament of Georgia Ellen Tevdoradze denied to become a candidate for the post of Public Defender. She told that she already is the head of Human Rights Committee, and she will do

much more together with the new public defender. According to Tevdoradze faction "Citizens Union" supports the member of parliament socialist Nana Devdariani for the post of Public defender.


Tevdoradze gives a prisoner an invalid's carriage as a present

The member of parliament Ellen Tevdoradze gave a 20 years old prisoner George Kitiashvili an invalid's carriage. George was blamed for the murder and as Tevdoradze noted, he was absolutely healthy before is detention. He was sent to
the to the 5th jail, where he was tortured and was not allowed to meet anyone during one year. He couldn't even walk, which was caused by the high-strung pressure on him. He can hardly recollect what has happened to him.

Number of candidates for the public Defender’s post is increasing

The President of Georgia will not propose his own candidate for the Public Defender’s vacancy because he completely agrees to the socialist candidate Nana Devdariani proposed by Elene Tevdoradze. Candidates will be examined in various factions and on the Parliamentary Bureau session. According to Zurab Zhvania, several non-governmental organizations have also proposed their candidates for the above mentioned post. The board of independent society "Memorial" proposed its own candidate for the Public defenders post _ Avtandil Imnadze. As the member of the society consider their candidate is well deserved for that post.

Gugeshashvili blames Targamadze for curtailing the list

As it is becomes clear the minister of Interior Targamadze revised the list of prisoners pardoned by presidential decree-declared Dodo Gugeshashvili. At the end of August president pardoned the prisoners among them participants of 1991-92 events, but according to Gugeshashvili 70% of ,,Mkxhdrioni" members ar still imprisoned.
Yesterday the Supreme court changed the sentence to the ex-director of Sukhumi sub-tropical institute who was called the leader of the 1998 19 October riot by Military Prosecutor.
 


Public Defender Should be elected by Public

Absolutely neutral person has to be elected as a Public defender. Declared Loti Kobalia. The candidate has to a program and people are to decide the matter of his / her elections. We have to take into account the priority given by people.

Adamia shoots the policemen

In the office of Transport Persecutor the case had been launched on the Polkaing of Railway by members of  "Kostava Society". The railway was blocked for 9 hours and 20 minutes and caused damage of 92000 Lari for State. Police opened the railway by using force. The organizers of the action Adamia and Kupreishvili were called by prosecutors office but they failed to come. After several denials and warnings the Police Department  had to bring them to the Prosecutor’s office. On the 9th of May in the morning, policeman came home to Adamia, they introduced to his family members and asked them to inform Adamia about Their visit. As soon as Adamia learned about coming of police he went out of the room and fired a gun. The criminal action was taken against Adamia.

What happened in April is a thing half done

The 19th April Pardon act left disappointed pardoned themselves. They demanded unconditional release. The main protest was directed against the fact that pardon action passed by many prisoners. ,,it was done as a reconciliation act but it only takes place if all prisoners are released on similar conditions, what was done in 19th April is half of the thing. People left in prison are in a poor conditions as morally as psychologically-declares T. Berishvili ,,Mxedrioni" member. The prisoners hope for public defender only.



,,Mxedrioni" takes action in Constitutional Court

,,Mxedrioni" organization takes an action in Constitutional court on the controversial point in ,,local election law". According to it on a place were more than 2000 inhabitants live candidate can not run for office unless the member of some party. According to the political secretary of ,,Mxedrioni" T.Berishvili this rule infringes upon Basic Human Rights and tends to be discriminatory.

Prosecutor’s office Persecutes Mass-media

Mikheil Saakashvili the leader of Citizen’s Union in Georgian Parliament condemned the fact of investigation against A.Gogichaishvili the journalist of TV channel ,,Rustavi 2". On the Press conference held on Friday Saakashvili blamed Prosecutor’s office in persecution of journalists instead of corruption. The office began investigation after it’s information that the facts of corruption in the Union of Writers of Georgia were not proven. This theme was raised in one of the programs ,,60 Tsuti"(minutes) by A.Gogichaishvili.
 


Prosecutor’s of face closed the case

The Prosecutor’s office of Nadzaladevi district closed the case on R.Petriashvili death. He was beated on the 31 October parliamentary elections by ,,Omon". The case was closed because of the lack of witnesses. The official report says that Petriashvili died of heart attack. He and his son were forcibly taken to ,,Chugureti" district police department, where he died. Whife of Petriashvili begged ,,Omon" to leave her husband who had a weak heart.


Hungry strike proceeds in ,,Kolkhuri Koshki"

The President of Human Rights protection association of Georgia Giorgi Kervalishvili reported to U.N.,O.S.C.E., European Parliament and concil of Europe. It contains the detailed analyses of Georgian Penitentiary. According to him there are 40 political Prisoners in jail. He also condemns the attacks on demonstration and usage of poisonous gas against strikers. ,,This is the violation organization to make their statements in order to avoid Such facts in future"-declared G.Kervalishvili. According to him the hungry strike still goes on in ,,Kolkhuri Koshki" and strikers sitill demand the resignation of government. More that 25000 people participated in action. The hopes for International support of the action.


,,The journalist of ,,Kviris Palitra" was detained for two days"

On the 8th of May to reporters of ,,Kviris Palitra" G.Abdaladze and K.Bichinashvili were sent to Ergreti village to make a report. South Osetian Police arrested them for alleged spin. They were taken to Tskinvali prison and for turned. On the 9th of April Georgian side succeeded in their release. ,,Osetian beat as and fold that we were spies, and we were out of Georgian territory". We produced our documents but they didn’t care they beat as in the car. We were taken into different cells. I heard how they beat Kiaso, one of them took gun, pointed it on my hand and threatened to shoot the hand I switchen on the recorder." He switched the recorder on when Osetians insulted Georgian journalists. They were taken to the so called red zone where other Georgians were imprisoned, they in fact have no idea why are they imprisoned and how long. The physical abuse, of Georgian prisoners became a common practice. They have learned that the assistant of Khizir Aldamov is in cell also: According to journalist neither the families nor the Government knows how many prisoners are exactly in South Osetian jail.

The case of KaKubava will be discussed by Parliament

The parliament will discuss the case of Kakubava in several days. According to Prim-News Kakubava misses session and takes no part in it’s work. According to the Head of Procedural committee Roland Giligashvili by the constitution the number of Parliament will be expelled in such case. Kakubava is wanted on failed terr-act charges.
 

Ten prisoners have hungry-strike in Ksany Colony

Ten prisoners declared hungry-strike in Ksany Colony. They demand meeting with high-rank officials. Among strikers are those who took part in struggle for countries territorial integrity. They began strike on the 11th of May. In case of reluctance from government the strike will spread.
 


No time for Public Defender in Parliament

Parliament won’t discuss the case of Public Defender this session week. According to the member of Parliament Tevdoradze and Tkemaladze The case needs serious discussions and has to be postponed. The fact is that country lives without public defender for 9 months already.

Armenian Refugees were returned home

200 Sumgaiti Armenian Refugees were returned home who came to Poti a week ago demanding the departure to Bulgaria by raft. They wanted to go to Geneva because of hard conditions in Armenia. Because of insufficient documents they could not leave Georgia.

Escape because of recklessness

Poti office of the prosecutor took criminal action because of 4 prisoners from Poti prison Hospital on the 10th of April. Very dangerous criminals escaped imprisoned for murder, rape kidnapping and so on…Two of them Z Tsutskiridze and G.
Surmava were caught immediately. The others are still wanted. The prosecutor of Poti took action on recklessness charges because the staff of justice Department responsible for security broke the security instructions.

"Six officers were beating me"- says journalist Kapanadze

On the 15th of May District Court judge Pukashvili began the case of transport police lieutenant D. Gabatashvili. He is charged with article 183 section III and article III. The crux of the matter is, that it is the first case against police officer for the physical abuse of the journalist. They were resent cases of such type for instance "Resonansi" journalist A. Tskitishvili, "Kviris palitra"_ reporter G. Abdaladze were attacked by Policemen. "Omon" members, Police captain, Abkhazia Ministry of Interior and Intelligence service took an action against "Akhali

Taoba." The General Prosecutors office attacks A. Gogichaishvili. It is a very dangerous tendency, which threatens independent mass media. According to Kapanadze 5-6 police officers were beating him but only one faced the court charges. Police makes emphasis or fact that "so method" only the "Resonansi" journalist are victims of attacks. According to them Kapanadze beat 30 of them! "It’s absurd, How could I beat 30 men, in fact according to my physical chances 5 couldn’t even attack one of them" says Kapanadze.
 


European law enforcement officers will help Georgian colleagues

European officers promised to help Georgians to defeat corruption and economic crimes. Despite the fact, that Georgia has not yet signed the treaty on cooperation with European Countries. The issue was discussed on conference in Bled, Slovenia attended by representatives of prosecutors office, Ministry’s of Justice, Interior and Foreign Affairs. The conference was convened by European Council, Europeans promised Georgians assistance in arresting criminals in European Countries.
 
 

I was arrested for sixth time wrongfully

Mamed Mahmudov has sewed up his mouth and protested because he declared, that was wrongfully detained. He told the head of Parliamentary committee on Human Rights Elene Tevdoradze, That he had been imprisoned 5 times and served his sentences, but the 6th time he was innocent. He is convicted for drug use and stealing. He told Tevdoradze that he was severely beaten in head which resulted in head-ache and hallucinations.

Why does the Police officers committee crime?

Criminal action was launched against Police officer Z.K. on burglary charges. On the second of May about 10 p. m. at Samtredia st. Z.K. was arrested. He confessed that robbed sellers on Tevdore st. and Zugdidi st. He said that the reason
why he committed the crime was extreme economic Shortage. He is cardiac but can not even go to doctor. He has two children. On court he was presented as modest, diligent and responsible person.

Hungry strike is going on

Only one member of failed terr-act perpetration A.Panjikidze carries on hungry-strike. 4 prisoners launched the strike a week ago, but two of them seized it. As regards G. Kurashvili he has not took part in action. According to the deputy head of investigation department of the Ministry of state security M.Salakaia the rest of perpetrators who are not yet arrested there case is dealt separately. 5 more persons are suspect-ex

security chief Giorgadze, ex Member of Parliament ..Kakubava, brothers Beka and Kakha Aptsiauri and O.Kuchava. On the 22 of May police arrested 12 persons suspected in committing the crime. Among them ex near of the marine infantry G.Kurashvili, ex head of special unit ‘’Alpha’’ T.Papuashvili, the members of the same unit A.Panjikidze and M.Giorgadze and several men from ‘’Coca cola bottlers Georgia’’ security staff.
 


Doctors advise Absandze undergo an operation

The health condition of accused Absandze is becoming critical. As the public is informed ex Minister of finance is accused of funding terr-act against president Shevardnadze. The accused complained about his health and now he is in bad condition. The doctors advise to undergo an operation.

The trial of D. Injia is postponed

This week the trial against D.Injia presided by judge Bochorishvili in supreme court began again. He is accused of organizing, public disorder furring elections in Martvili region. He was put under police custody. But after the trial he appeared in cardinal clinic. The defense lawyer presented the documents according to which it is
dangerous for accused to appear in court, because of his poor health. Nobody knows when is possible to take Injia to court. The court discussed the case and postponed the proceedings until the recovery of the accused. So the trial is postponed for an indefinite period of time.

"HUMAN RIGHTS IN GEORGIA"         # 8-9,  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 .Kipiani. 

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

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