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Georgia
02.10.06
Urgent Interventions

Georgia: Threats against Ms. Lela Bekauri

GEO 005 / 0906 / OBS 115
Threats / Harassment
Georgia

October 2, 2006


The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Georgia.

Brief description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) about the threats against Ms. Lela Bekauri, member of the Rustavi branch office of the GYLA.

According to the information received, on September 21, 2006, the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association held a conference in its office in Rustavi, which was entitled “Deficiencies during pre-election troubles in Georgian regions”. During the briefing, Ms. Lela Bekauri pointed out the deficiencies that appeared during the campaign of the Rustavi majority candidate, Ms. Lela Aptsiauri, who distributed to the population vouchers worth to 37 kilowatts of electricity as part of her pre-election campaign.

A couple of hours after the press conference, an unidentified man called Ms. Lela Bekauri on her phone at home, insulting and threatening her, in particular by saying that he would “catch [her] wherever”.

Following these events, GYLA asked the authorities to carry out an investigation into these threats, but they have not received any reply yet.

The Observatory expresses its concern about these threats, which seem to be only intended to intimidate Ms. Lela Bekauri and to prevent her from carrying out her work in favour of democracy and the rule of law in Georgia.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities in Georgia urging them to:
i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Ms. Lela Bekauri, as well as of all human rights defenders in Georgia;

ii. Conduct a fair, independent and impartial inquiry into those threats in order to identify their authors, bring them to justice and sanction them according to law;

iii. Put an end to acts of harassment against Ms. Lela Bekauri as well as against all human rights defenders in Georgia;

iv. Comply with the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, in particular article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, article 5c, which provides the right “to communicate with non-governmental or intergovernmental organisations”, and article 12.2, which declares that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually or in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”;

v. More generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights instruments ratified by Georgia.

Addresses:

  • Mr. Mikhail Saakashvili, President, State Chancellery, 7 Ingorokhva Street, 380034 Tbilisi, Georgia; Tel : +995 32 99 96 53; Fax : +995 32 99 92 00; E-mail : pr@president.gov.ge

  • Mr. Konstantin Kemularia, Secretary, National Security Council of Georgia, 7 Ingorokhva Street. 380034 Tbilisi, Georgia, Tel: +995 32 93 23 22 ; Fax: +995 32 98 99 72 ; E-mail: snsc@gol.ge

  • Human Rights Service of the National Security Council: Tel: + 995 32 93-13-22 ; Fax: + 995 32 92-35-58

  • Mr. Ivane Merabishvili, Minister of Interior, Ministry of Interior of Georgia, Tel: +995 32 99 62 96 / 99 80 50 / 99 95 55; Fax: +995 32 98 71 46 / 99 95 24; E-mail: presscenter@pol.ge

  • Ms. Elene Tevdoradze; Head of the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights Petitions and Relations with the Civil Society, Parliament of Georgia, 8 Rustaveli Avenue. 380018 Tbilisi, Georgia; Tel: +995 32 99 69 51; Fax: +995 32 92 15 63 / 92 33 50

  • Mr. Gia Kavtaradze, Minister of Justice, 19, Griboedov st, Tbilisi, 380008, Georgia, Tel: +995 32 93 27 21 / 93 50 49 / 75-82-22; Fax: +995 32 93 02 25 / 75-82-22 ; Email: justice@justice.gov.ge

  • Mr Zurab Adeishvili, General Prosecutor of Georgia, 24 Gorgasali st, 380014, Tbilisi, Georgia; Tel:+995 32 98 21 54 / 93 23 44 / 93 68 45 / 99 06 68; Fax: +995 32 98 21 70

  • Mr Sozar Subari, Ombudsman of Georgia, 11, Machabeli street, Tbilisi 0107, Georgia, Phone: + 995 32 92 39 60 / 92 24 78 / 92 24 81 / 93 15 85; Fax: + 995 32 92 24 70; Email: info@ombudsman.ge

  • Mr. Alexander Chikvaidze, Ambassador, Permanent mission of Georgia to the United Nations in Geneva, Rue Richard Wagner 1, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: + 41 22 733 90 33 ; Email: geomission.geneva@bluewin.ch

  • Ambassador Mr. Salomé Samadaschvele, Diplomatic Mission of Georgia to Brussels, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 732 85 47


Please also write to the diplomatic mission or embassy of Georgia in your respective country.

***
Geneva - Paris, October 2, 2006

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need. The Observatory was the winner of the 1998 Human Rights Prize of the French Republic.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 20 11 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29
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