Preliminary findings of an investigative mission on the alleged existence of political prisoners in Georgia

Press release
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Tbilisi-Paris, 30 July 2009 - Today at 2pm the Human Rights Centre (HRIDC), FIDH member organisation in Georgia, held a conference in its office in Tbilisi to unveil the preliminary findings of FIDH investigative mission on political prisoners.

FIDH sent an international investigative mission to Tbilisi from 19-25 February 2009. The mission delegates interviewed family members and lawyers of alleged political prisoners, and also representatives of Georgian human rights NGOs, international organisations and Georgian authorities. Despite FIDH’s formal requests, Georgia’s government did not allow the fact-finding mission to meet with several alleged political prisoners.

The preliminary findings highlight eight pilot cases that demonstrate how some political opponents were arrested and detained after being sentenced in totally- or partially-fabricated judicial cases. The charges most frequently used involve illegal storage of weapons or drugs, extortion, and attempt to overthrow the government. They conclude that all eight pilot cases examined in depth supported the assertion that there are indeed persons detained in Georgia who should be considered political prisoners according to the Council of Europe’s definition.

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