US Country Reports on Human Rights raises concerns of illegalities in Russian-occupied Georgian regions

Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani said that it is good the US legislative and executive governments use the term ‘occupation’ when referring to Georgia’s Russian-controlled regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali. Photo: Reuters., 12 Mar 2020 - 13:37, Tbilisi,Georgia

The US Department of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices says that the ‘unlawful or arbitrary deprivation of life by Russian and de facto authorities in the Russian-occupied Georgian regions’ is a ‘significant human rights issue.’ 

The report says that other important human rights issues in Georgia also include: 

  • Problems with the independence of the judiciary and investigations and prosecutions widely considered to be politically motivated.
  • Unlawful interference with privacy.
  • Inappropriate police force against journalists.
  • Substantial interference with the right of peaceful assembly, including inappropriate police force against protesters. 
  • Crimes involving violence or threats targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons.

The government took steps to investigate some allegations of human rights abuses, but shortcomings remained, including a lack of accountability for inappropriate police force used against journalists and protesters during June 20-21 demonstrations and the 2017 abduction and rendition from Georgia of Azerbaijani journalist and activist Afgan Mukhtarli,” the report said.