HRC45 – Item 10 General Debate – Georgia

HRHF oral statement

Background documents: Latest OHCHR report on Georgia

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Thank you.

Georgia has taken important and positive steps to further its collaboration with civil society, both domestically and internationally.

However, Georgia’s current National Human Rights Strategy and its national legal framework do not yet adequately address the challenges facing human rights defenders.

LGBTQI rights defenders face continuous attacks, including against Tbilisi Pride office, without accountability.  

The criminal case of the abduction of the Azerbaijani journalist and activist Afghan Mukhtarli in Tbilisi in 2017 remains uninvestigated. 

Smear campaigns are directed against human rights defenders by senior state officials and politicians. Such an environment serves to stigmatise defenders in the eyes of the public and increases the risk of further attacks.

Finally, Tamara Mearakishvili continues to be subject to a false criminal case and ongoing harassment from the de facto South Ossetian authorities, to silence and halt her human rights work. 

Human Rights House Foundation and Human Rights House Tbilisi, therefore, make the following recommendations:

  1. That the High Commissioner focuses on issues affecting human rights defenders in Georgia, including in Russian-occupied Abkhazia and South Ossetia, in her reporting to the Human Rights Council;
  2. Georgia conducts a high-level public campaign to support defenders, which includes positive statements by senior government officials;
  3. Georgia works with its civil society to ensure that the new National Human Rights Strategy and Action Plan adequately protects human rights defenders, and promotes their positive role in society.

Thank you.