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U.S. Department of State Issues Human Rights Report
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 1 Mar.'05 / 14:01

The 2004 Human Rights Reports, released by the U.S. Department of State says that “although there were improvements in some areas, serious problems remained” the government’s human rights record in Georgia.

“NGOs reported that police brutality continued, and in certain areas increased. Law enforcement officers continued to torture, beat, and otherwise abuse detainees. Corruption in law enforcement agencies decreased, but remained a problem. Arbitrary arrest and detention remained problems, as did lack of accountability. The judiciary system continued to lack true independence, and the executive branch and prosecutors' offices continued to exert undue influence on judges. There were lengthy delays in trials, and prolonged pretrial detention remained a problem,” the report reads.

“Law enforcement agencies and other government bodies occasionally interfered with citizens' right to privacy. The press generally was free; however, journalists practiced increased self-censorship. In the beginning of the year [2004], security forces violently dispersed several peaceful rallies and placed participants in pretrial detention. While violence against religious minorities decreased, Government officials continued to tolerate discrimination and harassment against some religious minorities. Violence against women was a problem. Trafficking for the purpose of forced labor and sexual exploitation was a problem.”

Secretary of Georgian National Security Council Gela Bezhuashvili said on March 1, that the U.S. Department of State’s report “contains both many objective and subjective criticism.”
 
“We will prepare our position over this issue and send it to the U.S. Department of State,” he added.

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