The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution on January 22 titled “Sergei Magnitsky and beyond – fighting impunity by targeted sanctions,” which among others welcomes the Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili list.
In the resolution, the Assembly “welcomes the fact that the Parliament of Georgia has recently adopted a resolution which establishes a sanctions list of perpetrators and persons responsible for the cover-up of grave human rights violations on the Georgian territory that is currently not under the effective control of the Georgian authorities.”
PACE also reaffirmed its commitment “to the fight against impunity of perpetrators of serious human rights violations and against corruption as a threat to the rule of law.”
Amendments on Georgia were made to the draft resolution presented by the rapporteur Lord Donald Anderson (United Kingdom, SOC) on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights last October.
MP Davit Bakradze of European Georgia – one of the authors of the amendment – said in his remarks that “what we deal today is not just a political or judicial legal statement. This is a statement of this Organisation that we will not tolerate, we will not accept serious violations of human rights, and those who perpetrate these violations will pay a price to that.”
Speaking of the situation in Georgia’s territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia currently occupied by Russia, Bakradze said “under international law, Russia – as occupying power – is in charge of law and justice in those territories but it does nothing.”
“Kidnapping of peaceful civilians, keeping them in custody and asking a ransom to families became a daily business – business as usual there. Killing, murdering, torturing of innocent civilians is something that happens on a weekly basis in both occupied territories, without any investigation, without any law, without any price which murderers and perpetrators pay for that,” Bakradze said.
“That’s why we do support this resolution and we do believe that the amendment which was brought by a group of members to whom we are grateful, serves the very spirit of this resolution – to defend civilian population, to defend and protect human rights, and to prevent such crimes from happening in the future,” he noted.
According to Tamar Chugoshvili, two MPs from the European Georgia and two ruling party MPs, Kvachantiradze and Tskitishvili have co-sponsored the amendment. However, the voting record for the resolution shows only two opposition MP votes cast in favor. The ruling party MPs apparently did not participate in voting. However, Chugoshvili (but no other ruling party MP) apparently did vote for the amendment.