Former Public Defender Nino Lomjaria Receives Annual Human Rights Defender Award
Nino Lomjaria, the former Public Defender of Georgia and her team received a prestigious Global Human Rights Defender Award, announced annually by the US State Department. Lomjaria is among ten winners from around the globe who “have demonstrated leadership and courage while promoting and defending human rights and fundamental freedoms; countering and exposing human rights abuses by governments and businesses; and rallying action to protect the environment, improve governance, and secure accountability and an end to impunity.” The State Department site announcement notes that under her leadership, the Public Defender’s Office (PDO) was widely considered the most independent democratic institution in Georgia. According to the State Department throughout her tenure, Lomjaria and her team “advocated strengthened human rights protections for all, at times under intense political pressure; they maintained their independence throughout”.
Nino Lomjaria served as Public Defender from 2017 till the end of 2022. She has been often criticized by the ruling GD party and government representatives for partisanship and for paying too much attention to the former President Mikheil Saakashvili’s detention conditions in captivity. She was also accused by ruling party for “being engaged not in supervising the protection of human rights but in the pursuit of political interests.”
- 28/10/2022 – New Public Defender Must be Free of Political Influence, urges Council of Religions, Minorities
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