Human Rights House Foundation statement

HRC54 – Item 10 – General Debate – Georgia

11 October 2023

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Thank you.

In March 2023, Georgian civil society held largely peaceful protests opposing draft foreign agent legislation, which would have had a strongly negative impact on civic space and the work of NGOs. In a span of just seven days, 169 protestors, including members of the media, were arrested. The High Commissioner’s report identifies that “law enforcement officials used excessive force against participants in protests”. This was followed by court-imposed exorbitant fines.

While we commend Georgia for ultimately withdrawing the foreign agent legislation, we urge it to ensure that it does not return in any form. We also recommend that the capacity of the Public Defender’s office is increased, ensuring violations against human rights defenders are accurately documented and publicised.


We continue to be concerned by the unchecked rise of radical anti-rights groups in Georgia. These entities target and attack human rights defenders and minority groups and enjoy the support of some political allies.

Finally, we continue to have serious concerns for the human rights situation in Russian-occupied Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and echo the High Commissioner in calling on all actors to ensure the immediate and unimpeded access for OHCHR and international and regional human rights organisations and mechanisms to those regions.

Thank you.