A new annual report unveiled by Amnesty International, a reputed human rights organization, has said the members of the opposition, government-critical media, and NGOs in Georgia were “attacked, intimidated and wiretapped amid an atmosphere of impunity.”
“The authorities at times made statements condoning such violence, fostering the sense of impunity,” said Amnesty International.
According to the report, Georgian authorities failed to identify the organizers of the mass violence against Tbilisi Pride on July 5, or “to ensure an effective investigation of the violent events.”
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The report also took note of persistent concerns over a lack of judicial independence, selective justice, and politically motivated prosecution of government opponents.
Amnesty also recalled that ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, imprisoned on October 1 after eight years in exile, “was forcibly transferred to a prison hospital without adequate healthcare facilities where he faced threats and insults from other inmates and degrading treatment by the prison authorities.”
In the report, Amnesty International further noted that protesters against the controversial Namakhvani hydropower plant were on several occasions detained by the police and prevented from assembling near the construction site.
The watchdog also focused on labor rights abuses, noting widespread violations as companies sacked employees or reduced their wages due to COVID-related restrictions. It also highlighted that Tbilisi municipal rubbish collectors reported threats and wage cuts in retaliation for holding a three-day strike.
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The report also listed human rights violations in Russian-occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali/South Ossetia regions.
Amnesty highlighted the lack of effective investigation into the death of Inal Jabiev, who died in custody in Tskhinvali after being severely beaten following detention in August 2020.
The document also recalled the death of Anri Ateiba in September in Abkhazia, after he was found unconscious in the temporary detention center in Gagra in August.
Amnesty International further recalled that the health of Irakli Bebua, an ethnic Georgian resident of Gali district serving nine years in jail for burning the Abkhaz flag, reportedly deteriorated due to chronic diseases and lack of adequate healthcare in detention.
The watchdog also listed freedom of movement restrictions imposed by Sokhumi and Tskhinvali as other notable human rights violations.