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CoE Human Rights Commissioner Visits Tbilisi

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović met on February 22 with Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and Public Defender Nino Lomjaria in Tbilisi.

The Human Rights Commissioner and the Georgian President touched upon the latter’s National Accord process, which aims to decrease political polarization in Georgia.

President Zurabishvili said afterward that she also brought up the “dire humanitarian situation” in Georgia’s Russian-occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.

“We need the international community to pay attention,” she stressed.

The humanitarian and rights situation in the occupied region was also the topic of discussion between PM Garibashvili and Commissioner Mijatović in the February 22 meeting, alongside security environment and challenges in Eastern Europe and the state of press freedom in Georgia.

PM Garibashvili stressed that Russia’s occupation of Georgian and Ukrainian regions undermined European security and rules-based international order.

Also, the Prime Minister argued that the Georgian Government remains committed to protecting fundamental human rights, freedom of expression and the press.   

Earlier today, Georgian Public Defender Nino Lomjaria briefed the CoE Commissioner on the rights situation in Georgia, including on the problems faced by the religious minorities and the LGBT+ community, labor rights, and environmental issues.

The Public Defender’s office reported that the sides further discussed issues related to the freedom of expression, media freedom and recent offenses committed against journalists and human rights defenders.

The Georgian Public defender highlighted what she described as “inadequate investigation” into such crimes and flaws in the justice system of Georgia, as per the same report.

Lomjaria also talked about residents of Russian-occupied regions and stressed the need for human rights monitoring in the regions.

She further highlighted that some internally displaced persons from these regions that left their homes during conflicts in the 1990s or after the Russo-Georgian war in 2008 currently live in dire circumstances, with the process of their resettlement from worn-down buildings dragging on.

NB: This article was updated with details of the Commissioner’s meeting with Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili.

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

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