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19 March 2013

Georgian political prisoners released

FIDH and the Human Rights Center (HRIDC) in Georgia welcome the recent release of 190 political prisoners under Georgia’s Law on Amnesty [1], passed on 12 January 2013. We encourage the Georgian government to undertake further judicial reform.

In a 2009 report entitled After the rose, the thorns [2] , FIDH and the HRIDC used the Council of Europe’s criteria for identifying political prisoners to highlight the existence of such prisoners in Georgia. The study focused on eight symbolic cases regarding which signs of political persecution were highlighted and analysed. Two of the prisoners identified have now been released under the Amnesty Law. The others had already been discharged after having served their sentences.

FIDH and the HRIDC consider the release of political prisoners in Georgia to be a step forward in the process of restoring justice. However, our organisations call attention to the fact that a number of current prison inmates claim that they too have been jailed for political reasons.

FIDH and the HRIDC call upon the Georgian authorities to:
  • Establish a Special Commission to study the cases of those political prisoners released before the Amnesty Law on Political Prisoners and grant them the relevant status essential to their rehabilitation;
  • Further investigate cases of alleged political prisoners;
  • Further reform the judicial system to avoid further cases of political prisoners; and
  • Comply fully with the international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Georgia, in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights.
Last Update 19 March 2013
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Footnotes

[1The Law includes a list of 190 “persons incarcerated on political grounds” and 4 “persons persecuted on political grounds”.

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