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Georgia
30.11.06
Urgent Interventions

Judicial proceedings against Mr. Giorgi Getsadze

GEO 006 / 1106 / OBS 141
Judicial proceedings / Harassment
Georgia

November 30, 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 Human Rights Information and Documentation Center (HRIDC) about judicial proceedings against Mr. Giorgi Getsadze, a member of the Public Defender’s Office in Georgia.

According to the information received, Mr. Giorgi Getsadze is being prosecuted for “taking illegal actions while studying a case” under Article 145 of the Criminal Code of Georgia (“provocation of a crime”, i.e. “persuading others to commit a crime for the purpose of his/her criminal prosecution”). These proceedings would be founded on the basis of telephone conversations overheard by Georgian law enforcement bodies, during which Mr. Giorgi Getsadze was telling one of his colleagues about his visit in Geguti Penitentiary Establishment n°8.

A couple of weeks before, a former employee of the Getuti Penitentiary Establishment n°8 had denounced the existence of money transfers to detainees. He described those as acts of corruption to the Public Defender’s Office. On November 1, 2006, in order to verify these allegations, Mr. Giorgi Getsadze visited the penitentiary establishment where he interviewed many people.

According to the accusations, Mr. Giorgi Getsadze would allegedly have offered money to the prison staff during his visit in order to obtain information. The member of the Public Defender’s Office claimed that he only asked the prison staff about the possibility to transmit some money to detainees inside of the penitentiary establishment, to verify the dependability of the denunciations of corruption.

Mr. Giorgi Getsadze faces one to three years of imprisonment or “restriction of freedom” (placement in a corrective centre)[1], under Article 145 of the Criminal Code.

Since the beginning of 2006, the Public Defender’s Office has been denouncing human rights violations in Georgian penitentiary establishments to the General Prosecutor’s Office. Although investigations were launched, no sanction has been taken yet.

The Observatory expresses its concern about these judicial proceedings which seem to be only intended to intimidate Mr. Giorgi Getsadze and to prevent him from carrying out his work in favour of the respect of human rights in Georgia.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities in Georgia urging them to:

  1. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Giorgi Getsadze, as well as of all human rights defenders in Georgia;
  2. Ensure that his rights to a fair and impartial trial be guaranteed in any circumstances;
  3. Put an end to acts of harassment against Mr. Giorgi Gesatdze as well as against all human rights defenders in Georgia;
  4. 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”, 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”;
  5. 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, November 30, 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


[1] In practice, restriction of freedom as a sanction has been used very seldom.

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