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U.S. Marks Progress in Georgia’s Human Rights Record

The Georgian government’s human rights record improved in some areas during the year, although serious problems remained, according to the annual Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2006 , released on April 5 by the U.S. Department of State.

The report also notes that although the government took significant steps to address the problems, there were some reports of deaths due to excessive use of force by law enforcement officers, cases of torture and mistreatment of detainees, increased abuse of prisoners, impunity and worsened conditions in prisons.

Other areas of concern included reports of government pressure on the judiciary and the media, according to the report.

The report also notes that the separatist authorities of breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia restricted the rights of citizens to vote and failed to allow the opening of a UN human rights office, the assignment of a UN civilian police force to the region, or the teaching of Georgian in predominantly ethnic Georgian regions.

Moreover, the separatist authorities in Abkhazia continued to prevent repatriation of approximately 234,000 internally displaced persons and the de facto authorities of South Ossetia continued to obstruct repatriation of approximately 13,000 ethnic Georgians, according to the report.

The U.S. report also says that the United States provided the Parliament, the President, and the Prime Minister with assistance to promote improved governance.

“Assistance also facilitated dialogue among opposition party factions; as a result, the opposition decided to end a boycott of plenary sessions… United States funded programs worked with political party leaders to promote political party development,” the report says.

“Despite a continued decrease in reports of violence against minority religious communities, several groups reported intimidation by fellow citizens, prompting continued U.S. Government engagement on behalf of religious freedom. With U.S. support, the prosecutor general’s office regularly investigated and prosecuted claims of religious persecution. U.S. officials met with representatives of a wide spectrum of religious groups to discuss the effective protection of religious freedom and reiterated to the government the need for religious and ethnic minorities to play a role in the social and political development of the country,” the report says.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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