HRC47: Item 6 – UPR adoption – Georgia

Video statement

8 July 2021

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Thank you.

Human Rights House Foundation, together with Human Rights House Tbilisi would like to emphasise the following recommendations to Georgia:

  1. In consultation with civil society, and with other states, identify best practice in policy protection for human rights defenders and ensure they have adequate legislative recognition and protection, as well as strong public support from State officials;
  2. Investigate and prosecute all criminal attacks against human rights defenders effectively and ensure that such attacks, particularly against minority rights defenders, receive high-level and public condemnation by State officials;
  3. Guarantee that Georgian legislative framework and its practice is fully aligned with international law with respect to freedom of assembly and that there are effective investigations into the excessive use of force around previous protest action;
  4. Ensure an effective investigation into the case of Afgan Mukhtarli;
  5. Use all international mechanisms to guarantee that human rights defender’s rights are protected in the occupied territories.

Madam President.

We were shocked at the violence perpetrated against the LGBT+ community and their supporters around the 5 July March for Dignity organized by Tbilisi Pride. The violence was also directed at journalists and other human rights defenders and organisations, including the Human Rights House Tbilisi which saw an incendiary device thrown into its courtyard by a violent mob.

We condemn this violence against human rights defenders doing legitimate work.  But we also condemn the Georgian authorities’ failure to prevent it, despite repeated warnings by Georgian and international civil society organisations of threats and intimidation made by far right and nationalist campaigners.

We call upon Georgia on such occasions to ensure the safety of event organisers and participants and protect their rights to freedom of expression and assembly.

Finally, HRHF and Human Rights House Tbilisi extends an offer of assistance to Georgia in designing its UPR implementation plan, particularly with respect to increasing protections for human rights defenders.

Thank you.

Top photo: A group of journalists being attacked near the Kashveti Church on Rustaveli Avenue in connection with Tbilisi Pride arrangements. Photo: Mariam Nikuradze/OC Media.