We welcome the significant progress made on human rights and the programme of reforms in Georgia, including on the independence of the judiciary, improvements in prison conditions and implementation of a new human rights strategy. It is also positive that Georgia passed Anti-Discrimination legislation in 2014. Effective implementation of this will be key to ensure the protection of all national minority groups.
Whilst recognising that Georgia does not have control of the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, we continue to encourage the Government to engage to help contribute to a peaceful solution and improve conditions for local residents.
The UK encourages Georgia to continue its judicial reform programme, including implementing the recommendations of the OSCE/ODIHR report; and to ensure a pluralistic media landscape to support free and fair Parliamentary elections in 2016. We also encourage Georgia to improve the rights of national minorities and to increase its focus on tackling violence against women.
We have two recommendations:
Develop and implement a strategy to monitor, investigate, and prosecute hate crimes, giving the Public Defender relevant powers and resources to take action against instigators of hate crime.
Establish an effective and independent mechanism for investigating complaints against law enforcement officials, increasing public trust that suspected abuses will be properly investigated.