Photo: Amnesty International
In its latest report, Amnesty International, an international human right organization, said that concerns “persisted” over the lack of judicial independence and selective justice in Georgia.
The Amnesty International Report 2016/17, a country-by-country report on the state of human rights, covers developments of 2016 in 159 countries and territories.
“Concerns over the lack of judicial independence and selective justice were raised, by both local and international observers,” the report said and listed several court cases, including the ownership dispute over Rustavi 2 TV, the MoD "cable case" and the ECHR’s Merabishvili vs. Georgia ruling.
Referring to the Rustavi 2 TV case, the report said that the litigation took place after the statute of limitations had expired and it was “widely believed to have been supported by the current government with a view to depriving” the United National Movement (UNM) of “its main mouthpiece” ahead of the parliamentary elections.
The report also said that the right to freedom of peaceful assembly remained “largely unrestricted,” but noted the incidents of politically motivated violence against rivals by the ruling party activists, but also “on occasion” by UNM supporters.
In the report’s torture and other ill-treatment section, the Amnesty said that Georgia “failed” to establish “an independent investigation mechanism” for human rights violations committed by law enforcement bodies.
Amnesty International also emphasized that continuing border fencing along the administrative boundary lines of the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia had “further negative impact” on economic and social rights of local residents.
“De facto authorities and Russian forces in the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia continued to restrict movement across the administrative boundary line, detaining dozens of people: several detainees complained of torture and other ill-treatment, including beatings, during the prolonged arbitrary detentions,” the report said.