Human Rights House Tbilisi and its member organizations join the celebration of the Human Rights Day and welcome all democratic processes that are ongoing in the country – conduct of elections in free environment, implementation of the legislative reforms, active cooperation of the government with civil society and other. However, it is noteworthy that on its way to European democracy Georgia still has much to do for better defense of human rights and basic freedoms. Defense of the rights of the vulnerable groups like minorities (ethnic, religious and sexual), people with disabilities, women and children, still remain as a challenge in the country.
Defense of the rights of human rights defenders and creation of free working environment for them is particularly important for the HRHT.
HRDs often become subjects of the oppression from the side of the government because of their human rights activities. Oppression on HRDs may be done through adoption of the laws, which restrict their activities and freedom of expression, right to assembly and manifestation; through smear campaigns, intimidation, arbitrary detentions, forced disappearance, torture and murder.
HRHT and its member organizations express solidarity and respect towards the HRDs, who have to defend rights in difficult and restricted environment. It is essential that any individual could enjoy right to expression, assembly and manifestation and promote defense of human rights and basic freedoms.
It is noteworthy that role of HRDs in the defense of human rights is not only activities on the local level but it is very important that they could act on regional and international levels for what they often become subjects of violence and oppression. The HRHT, as regional hub of human rights defenders in the South Caucasus, is particularly alarmed with the unprecedented facts of human rights violations of HRDs in the region and particularly in Azerbaijan. Considering that, HRHT calls on the Government of Georgia to ensure safe working environment for every human rights defender regardless their nationality and citizenship.
Based on the abovementioned circumstances, HRHT and its member organizations:
• Call on the Government of Georgia to ensure safe and free environment for local, regional and international human rights defenders so that they could conduct their activities without obstacles and safely;
• Call on the local and international organizations, diplomatic missions in the country, including the embassies of the EU member states, to respect the main principles of the European Union to support the human rights defenders and enhance easy procedures of visa issuance for them.
And finally, presence of independent, diverse and pluralistic civil society in the country is necessary pre-condition for the building of peaceful, successful and democratic society.
HRHT member organizations:
• Article 42 of the Constitution
• Caucasian Center for Human Rights and Conflict Studies – Kavkasia
• Georgian Center for Psycho-Social and Medical Rehabilitation of the Torture Victims (GCRT)
• Human Rights Center
• Media Institute
• Union Safari