For optimal readability, we highly recommend downloading the document PDF, which you can do below.
- Year: 2012
- Country: Georgia
- Language: English
- Document Type: Other International Legal Instrument
- Topic: Assessments,CSO Framework Legislation,Defending Civil Society
Human Rights Council
Twent ieth session
Agenda item 3
Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil,
political, economic, social and cultural rights,
inc luding the right to development
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of
peaceful assembly and of association , Maina Kiai
Mission to Georgia : comments by the State on the report of the Special
* Reproduced as recei ved .
United Nations A /HRC/ 20 /27/Add. 4
General Assembly Distr.: General
20 June 2012
The following document represents the comments of the Government of Georgia
(hereinafter the Government or the GoG) in relation to the Report of the Special Rapporteur
on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association on his mission to Georgia.
The Government of Georgia notes that the findings in some parts of the Report,
especially paragraphs 3 2-46 are solely based on December 2011 amendments to Organic
Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens. The Special Rapporteur has been informed
that in May 2012 further amendments were introduced to the said law, amending and
clarifying the provisions addressed by the Report. The above amendments were also made
available to the Secretariat and the Special Rapporteur. Nevertheless, the Report does not
reflect steps that were taken by the GoG following the visit of the Special Rapporteur.
Therefore, the GoG clarifies that certain passages of the Report, together with parts of
Conclusions (paragraph 84) and Recommendations (paragraph 90 (a&b)) may no longer be
relevant in the light of May 2012 amendments to Organic Law of Georgia on Political
Union of Citi zens.
The following is the position of the GoG with respect to the various findings of the
1. In paragraph 3 of the summary as well as paragraph 26, the Report notes the
existence of “a climate of fear and intimidation” and “climate of distrust”. The Georgian
Government considers that such strong political wording in the Report might lead to
incorrect assessments with regard to state of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and
of association in Georgia. Both legislative and executive powers have been actively
engaged with political parties, civil society and international experts, and implemented a
series of measures to enhance the Georgian political party operation and financing system
to bring them closer to international standards. While the re forms included a substantial
increase in public funding for political parties, they also brought about the greater
transparency and accountability of party finances to ensure a level playing field and a
competitive environment for political parties in line with earlier recommendations by the
Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), an anti -corruption body of the Council of
Europe ( see infra paragraph 12 ).
2. It is Georgia’s understanding that the reference to the occupied regions of Abkhazia,
Georgia and t he Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, Georgia formulated in the paragraph 2 of
the Report as “breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia” is made with no
prejudice to the respect of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its
internationa lly recognized borders.
3. In paragraphs 8 and 63 of the Report, while indicating the importance of protection
and promotion the right to freedom of assembly and association, the reference is made to
the way that the current Government was formed. Georgia und erscores the role and
importance of the Rose Revolution and its peaceful nature that lead to the profound and
remarkable democratic transformation and enhancement of human rights and freedoms.
Together with this, Georgia emphasizes that strengthening of th e rule of law has been one
of the biggest achievements of the present government. Therefore, while being strongly
committed to ensuring the right to freedom of assembly and association, the GoG strongly
believes that while effectively enjoying their rights and freedoms, individuals have to
observe all relevant laws and regulations.
4. Paragraphs 8 and 24 point on the amendments to the Organic Law of Georgia on
Political Union of Citizens that were enacted in December 2011. In light of this the GoG
emphasizes that in May 2012, as a result of close consultations between the Parliament, the
Chamber of Control of Georgia (hereinafter – CCG), non -governmental organizations and
international organizations, the Parliament of Georgia adopted further amendments, that
aim at clarifying and crystallizing the legal provisions related to the political unions of
citizens. Therefore, paragraph 8 as well as subsequent paragraphs that make a reference to
December 2011 amendments and assess the environment from the perspective o f these
amendments should be reviewed and re -assessed in light of the ultimate (May 2012)
amendments enacted to the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens.
5. In paragraph 12, the Report describes the set of constitutional reforms that was
adopted by the Parliament in 2010. In this description, the Report makes a suggestion that
the law may allow a president to be appointed as a prime minister. Government considers
that this hypothetical assessment cannot be used as a tool for assessment of ho w these
constitutional reforms relates to the right to freedom of assembly and association.
6. In view of the GoG, the phrases “uneven political playing field” (paragraph 26 &
heading A) and “arbitrary restrictions” (subheading 1), cannot be considered as re flecting
careful assessment of legal and practical framework, since existing political environment
has been assessed exclusively in light of December 2011 amendments to the Organic Law
of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens, without taking a due note o f other legislative
acts that establish and safeguard political activities in the country. Simultaneously, the May
2012 amendments that further clarify the Law are not taken into consideration. Therefore,
these assessments should be reviewed in light of th e May 2012 amendments to the Organic
Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens.
7. In reference to the phrase “give them a fair chance to change their leaders as they
deem appropriate” in paragraph 28, the GoG hereby clarifies that its understanding of
obligations stemming from the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is that
its Article 25 is to safeguard and guarantee participation in public affairs and right to vote,
in the frameworks of international standards and relevant domestic leg al framework.
In paragraphs 31 -33 the Report notes that amendments to the Organic Law of Georgia on
Political Unions and in particular Art. 26 1 prescribe restrictions that “can facilitate abusive
interpretations” and deter activities of NGOs. The GoG high lights that on the basis of May
2012 amendments, the article has been modified.
In particular, the amendments have, inter alia :
a. reduced fines for violations;
b. increased the role of the courts, including by granting them the responsibility
of making fining decisions;
c. provided further specificity on what entities fall under the restrictions of the
law. The law provides clear, transparent and prescribed criteria for entities in respect of
which the CCG can exercise its monitoring functions. 1 Only en tities, commercial and non –
commercial alike, who have declared electoral goals and expend financial resources in the
achievement of these goals fall under the purview of the law. Organizations that support
capacity -building of political parties and whose a ctivities do not involve campaigning for or
against any political party are not regulated by the law. The purview of the law in its
current formulation, therefore, is rather narrow and clearly defined. The notion of direct or
indirect relations of a citize n/entity with a political subject, which under the past
formulation could have resulted in the citizen/entity falling under the monitoring function
of the CCG, has been completely removed from the law to eliminate any ambiguity in its
application. The deci sion of the CCG on whether or not a particular entity falls under its
monitoring function can, furthermore, be appealed in court.
1 See article 26 1 of the Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens
Based on these novelties, the GoG considers that assessments, conclusions and
recommendations provided in the Report have to be reviewed in light of May 2012
amendments to the Law.
8. As per paragraph 33, the GoG considers that based on the novelties described in the
above paragraph 8, regarding further clarification of the scope of Art. 26 1 of the Organic
Law of Georgia on Polit ical Unions of Citizens, the current reading of the article cannot be
understood as deterring work of those non -governmental organizations that do not have
declared electoral goals and expend financial resources in the achievement of those goals.
9. First se ntence of paragraph 34 should be revised in light of May 2012 amendments
to Art. 26 1 of the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens. In particular,
pursuant to the new wording of the article, restrictions established by the law cover only
person who has declared his/her political aims and use all financial and material resources
to reach the goal.
As for the issue related to the spending and expenses of the political parties, the GoG
elucidates that Article 25 1 (1) provides that the total amo unt of expenditures by political
party/electoral subject shall not exceed 0.2 % of Georgia’s GDP of the previous year.
Indicated amount includes expenditures of party/electoral subject and expenditures made in
favor of it by other person, that is defined by the CCG and regarding which relevant
party/electoral subject is notified. The total number of annual cap of independent
majoritarian candidate shall be determined by following rules: the cap of expenditures
permittied for a party for election campaign (0.2 % of GDP of the previous year) shall be
divided into the total number of voters in the country, the recived number shall be
multiplied on number of voters of the election district in question. 2
Pursuant to Article 27 of the Law the total amount donat ed individually cannot exceed
60 ,000 GEL.
10. With regard to paragraph 36, the Government of Georgia considers that it should be
viewed in light of May 2012 amendment of Article 26 1 (3) of the Law on Political Union of
Citizens. The new formulation of the draf t provision stands as follows: A physical person,
who has declared electoral goals and uses related resources for these goals, is obliged to
establish a special foundation. Restrictions for an independent candidate, defined in the
Election Code shall be ap plicable to this person.
In relation to paragraph 37, the GoG duly notes that the amendments introduced into the
Law on Political Unions of Citizens in December 2011 were based on recommendations of
the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), an anti -corruption body of the Council of
Europe. The aim of the amended articles was the enhancement of political party funding
system, prevention of political corruption, insurance of high level of transparency and
accountability and support of political competit ion through bringing Organic Law on
Political Unions of Citizens in compliance with international standards, implementing
recommendations of Council of Europe 3 and GRECO 3 rd Evaluation Report (Theme II) 4
(donations by legal entities – article 5, Donations to entities connected with a political party
– Article 6).
More specifically, Council of Europe as well as the Venice Commission establish
regulations regarding the limitation of the donation to the political parties. The same
regulation is ensured in the recommendation of Council of Europe which provides that
2 Article 25 1 (1) of the Law on Political Unions of Citizens.
3 Council of Europe Committee of Minister Recommendation (2003)4
4 Evaluation Report on Georgia on Transparency o f party funding (Theme II), Adopted by GRECO at
its 51st Plenary Meeting (Strasbourg, 23 -27 May 2011).
States should take all necessary measures to limit, prohibit or otherwise strictly regulate
donations from legal entities which provide goods or services for any public
administration. 5 Furthermore, in the 3 rd evaluation Report, GRECO recommended that it
was necessary to regulate issues related to membership fee payment and to establish
maximum limit of donations. 6
11. In paragraphs 40 and 42 respectively, the Report notes that the CCG is a “de facto
org an of the Executive” and “was presented as an independent institution”. The GoG
clarifies that the CCG is an independent external supreme audit body and its role as such is
guaranteed by the Constitution of Georgia. The CCG carries out financial compliance and
performance audits of all three levels of government: central, autonomous and local. It is,
therefore, an institution of its own kind, which is neither part of the legislative, nor the
executive branches of the government. Along with the Constitution , the Law of Georgia on
the Chamber of Control lays down its functional, organizational and financial
independence. The legal mission statement provides for the CCG’s commitment to the
improvement of public financial management by promoting accountability and the efficient
and effective use of public resources, including those of political parties.
12. Paragraph 40 of the Report underscores that the CCG has “extraordinary
discretionary authority” and can “ensure transparency of funding on any citizen or legal
person”. It should be noted that the amendments introduced in May 2012 to the law on
Political Union of Citizens provide further specificity on what entities fall under the
restrictions of the law. ( See supra paragraph 11. ). The law provides clear, transpa rent and
prescribed criteria for entities in respect of which the CCG can exercise its monitoring
Moreover the amendments increase the role of courts, including by granting them the
power of making final decisions. As per the decision of the CCG on whether or not a
particular entity falls under its monitoring function, this decision can, furthermore, be
appealed in courts.
13. As per issue of standardized questionnaires used during the inquiry procedure, raised
in paragraph 41, it should be noted tha t these interviews were conducted by the CCG in the
month of March 2012 where individuals served as witnesses. Under Georgian legislation,
when individuals are invited to serve as witnesses in the study of a potential breach, they
enjoy all relevant rights and freedoms as provided for in the legislation of Georgia and
international human rights instruments to which Georgia is a party to, including the right to
counsel. As to interview questionnaire, they are prepared in advance a ccording to an overall
stand ard set by the CCG and are also tailored to the specific issue under examination. At
the same time, an interviewer has discretion, to ask any additional question based on
As per contention that during interviews individuals were asked ab out their political
activities, the Government notes that all interviewers are directly instructed under internal
regulations to ask only the questions related to the issue under examination and not to
inquire about unrelated political affiliation or activ ity of the witness. Continuous training
and skills -building is provided to the staff of the CCG, to ensure that the highest quality of
interviewing is carried out when investigatory activity is instigated. To further streamline
the interviewing procedure, some innovations have been adopted by the CCG, including
audio -video monitoring of the interviews, as well as the introduction of consultants, who
5 Council of Europe Committee of Minister Recommendation (2003)4, Article 5(b).
6 Evaluation Report on Georgia on Transparency of party funding, Gr eco Eval III Rep (2010) 12E,
serve all interviewees at their arrival to provide explanations on the interviewing procedure,
legal basis, t heir rights, etc.
14. With regard to the adoption of guidelines, noted in paragraph 44, it should be
underscored that with an aim of further enhancing the transparency of its activities on party
finance monitoring, since March 2012, the CCG has been actively engaged with civil
society in drafting the Guidelines’ document. The document, to be finalized in June 2012,
provides detailed information on the mandate of the CCG and the procedure through which
this mandate is operationalized, including the conduct of i nvestigatory activity. The
Guidelines state that inquiry procedure can be launched only if (a) a submitted report
indicates a potential breach of law, for example by showing substantial inconsistency
between income and expenditures; (b) an allegation is ma de to the CCG on the breach of
law or the CCG becomes aware of a potential breach through another source, such
submissions of state organs as the National Bank or the Customs Office or through the
media report; and (c) information on donations, which all p olitical subjects are required to
report to the CCG within five days, shows inconsistencies. To ensure that investigatory
activity is an option of the last resort, the CCG initiates inquiry only after ascertaining
reasonable grounds for suspecting a potent ial breach.
15. With regard to the phrase: “… the need to seriously consider revising the Labour
Code”, noted in paragraph 52, it should be underlined that “Report of the Committee of
Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, Report III ( Part 1A),
General Report and observations concerning particular countries, International Labour
Conference, 99th Session” (which is mentioned in relevant footnote) does not envisage
such an imperative wording. Since the ILO Committee of Experts represents the specialized
body in the area of labour rights, Georgia views this paragraph, together with the
recommendations put forward by the Special Rapporteur in light of concrete
recommendations given by the ILO.
16. With regard to the operational environment for the labour unions assessed in
paragraph 54, the GoG deems it necessary to underscore that according to the most recent
data of the ILO, 7 the percentage of labor union members among wage and salaried earners
(Union Density Indicator) in Georgia amounted to 47.7% in 2007, which is the highest
union density among all lower middle -income countries. 8
Moreover, under the Georgian legislation, procedures for establishment of a labor union as
an association are simple and straightforward. Establishment of a labor union requires only
payment of the registration fee equivalent to 60 USD. According to the data of the National
Agency of Public Registry of Georgia, after the adoption of the new Labor Code in 2006 36
new labor unions have registered. Namely:
• 17 labor un ions in the industry and service sector;
• 10 labor unions in the education sector;
• 5 labor unions in the culture and sport sector;
• 2 labor unions with cross -sector coverage;
• 2 labor unions in the public sector.
7 The ILO. “Trade Union Density and Collective Bargaining Coverage, Internationa l Statistical inquiry
2008 -09”. ILO’s Industrial and Employment Relations Department (DIALOGUE) 2010
8 Georgia’s union density out -perfo rms 19 countries in Europe including Austria, the Czech Republic,
France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, and Hungary. It is also higher than that in the United States,
Canada, Mexico, and Chile;
At the same time, in order to achieve a higher level of protection for the freedom of
association, the Government of Georgia submitted to the Parliament of Georgia the draft
amendment to the Law on Trade Unions in order to lower minimum trade union
membership requirement as was recommended by the ILO CEACR 9 in May 2012. The
significantly reduced minimum labor union membership will further streamline procedures
needed for creating labor unions.
17. As per paragraph 55 the GoG notes that there is no “an apparent inconsistency”
between Constitution and Labou r Code regarding the right to join and form labor unions
and the right to strike as under the Georgian legislation, procedures for establishment of a
labor union as an association are simple and straightforward. Establishment of a trade union
requires only payment of the registration fee equivalent to 60 USD.
Moreover, in May, 2012 the GoG submitted to the Parliament of Georgia legislative
amendments to the:
• Labour Code in order to remove 90 -day limitation on strike.
• Law on Trade Unions in order to lower the minimum membership requirement need
for establishment of a labor union from 100 to 50.
The goal of the above -mentioned legislative amendments is to further streamline right to
strike and right to form a labor union. The both of legislative amendments w ere elaborated
based on the recommendations of the ILO.
18. With regard the first sentence of the paragraph 56, the GoG notes that it is working
closely with its social partners within the TSPC for further enhancement of conciliation and
mediation mechanisms with the assistance of the ILO. The main aim of the ILO assistance
is to facilitate the creation of a mediation unit in order to further facilitate tripartite
cooperation, studying, and analysis of alleged anti -union dismissals. The last three sessions
of the TSPC were dedicated to the discussion on the conciliation and mediation
mechanisms. Currently, the tripartite partners are elaborating their proposals regarding
functions, competencies, type of structure, etc of the conciliation and mediation facility.
With regard to paragraph 57, the GoG finds it necessary to note that since 2005, public
schools became autonomous entities – Legal Entity of Public Law (LEPL) – in effect
meaning that each public school is an organization that is legally separated from th e
Government of Georgia and the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia (hereinafter
MoES) and independently carries out its activities. According to Article 2 (1) of the Law of
Georgia on the Legal Entity of Public Law, “LEPL is an organization indepe ndent and
separated from legislative and state governmental bodies”. Based on the above, MoES does
not employ a teacher . Particular schools, represented by the principle contract teachers
themselves . According to the Article 43 (1)(f) of the Law of Georgia on General Education,
“… a public school principal is responsible to sign and execute the employment agreement
with teachers and all other school personnel” .
The several complaints were submitted to the MoES regarding anti -union dismissals based
on politic al views. The internal audit of the MoES studied all cases and no allegations were
found . Teachers were dismissed based on disciplinary offences and not for their political
views. Moreover, a case of allegations of anti -union dismissals of teachers based on their
political views has never been brought for discussion at the TSPC by the GTUC.
9 Observation, CEACR 2009/80th Session: “…The Committee therefo re once again requests the
Government to provide information with its next report on the measures taken or envisaged to amend
section 2(9) of the Law on trade unions so as to lower the minimum trade union membership
19. With regard to paragraphs 58 and 59, and the third sentence of the paragraph 60 the
following should be taken into account: Georgian legislation prohibits discriminatio n in
labor relations based on membership in any type of association including labor unions. This
prohibition is enshrined in all legal acts that regulate labor relations (the Georgian supreme
law – the Constitution of Georgia, the Labor Code of Georgia, th e Law on Labor Unions of
Georgia, and the Criminal Code of Georgia). It is notable that termination of employment
and recruitment processes are part of labor relations. Accordingly, prohibition of
discrimination in labor relations based on membership in t rade unions is applicable both in
recruitment and employment termination processes. There are no reported cases when a
person was not recruited based on his/her membership in trade union. Furthermore, an
employer’s request to disclose membership in any ass ociation including trade unions in the
recruitment process is considered illegal and punishable.
As for the concern related to the Article 37(d) of the Labor Code of Georgia, the Labor
Code does not prescribe an employer with the right to dismiss a worker without any reason.
According to the Labor Code of Georgia, the ground for suspending labor relations can be
termination of the agreement. Termination of the labor agreement is possible on the
initiative of one of the parties of the agreement. It should be emphasized, that if a dismissed
worker appeals the dismissal in court, the employer is obliged to provide reasoning of
dismissal during the court hearings. According to the latest ruling of the Supreme Court
(Supreme Court, Case No. 343 -327 -2011, December 1, 2011), in the course of the
termination of the labor contract, the fundamental human rights, also prohibition of
discrimination envisaged by the Labor Code should be protected and ensured (Article 2,
Paragraphs 3 and 6 of the Labor Code). Dismissal of a worker challenged in court, shall be
meaningfully investigated and determined whether the dismissal was based on
discriminating grounds. In such case burden of proof lies on an employer to establish that
no fact of discrimination has occurred.
20. With regar d to right to spontaneous manifestations provided in paragraph 73 the
GoG clarifies that pursuant to Georgian legislation notification of holding of assemblies
and manifestations is required only in case if a public assembly or manifestation is held on
a p ublic thoroughfare or interrupts the traffic movement. 10 In other circumstances,
participants of assembly and manifestation are not required to get any prior notification.
Citizens have the right to exercise their right to freedom of assembly without any pr ior
notification in any place except of places mentioned in article 5 of the Law (if assembly and
manifestation interrupts traffic movement). Furthermore, spontaneous manifestation
(manifestation without any prior notification) is allowed if it does not ai m to block the
transport movement on the roads.
21. In paragraph 65 the Report indicates that the Special Rapporteur validates the claims
that restrictions had been applied with regard to peaceful assemblies. The Report, however
does not indicate any particul ar case or assessment of such case to corroborate that
At the same time, in April, 2011, the Constitutional Court of Georgia published its
judgment 11 and declared some of restrictive provisions of the Law on Assembly and
Manifestation unconstitu tional. Based on this the Parliament of Georgia has adopted the
amendment and addition to the Law on Assembly and Manifestation in July 2011, thus
bringing the legal framework in line with international standards and established practice.
10 Article 5(1) of the La w on Assembly and Manifestation.
11 The Decision of the Constitutional court of Georgia is available on the following link:
As per limitatio n of right of members of the armed forces to participate in assemblies and
manifestations, referred in paragraph 72 , it should be underscored that the right to freedom
of assembly and manifestation is not the absolute right and the Government is authorized to
establish certain restrictions in accordance with state security. The Constitution of Georgia
as well as the Law on Assembly and Manifestation excludes the members of the armed
forces, employees of the armed forces, armed law enforcement bodies, parami litary and
special facilities (Ministry of Internal Affairs) from participation in the manifestation, based
on the principle of public safety and state security.
As to the term “entrance”, Article 9 of the Law on Assembly and Manifestation maintains
the b lanket ban on any assembly within 20 meters of the entrance of the following
buildings: Prosecutors’ Office, temporary detention buildings/facilities, all police stations,
railways, airports and ports. 12 The main aim of such restriction is to avoid the inte rruption
of the functioning of public facilities.
In relation to paragraph 74 of the report , the GoG clarifies that Article 11 1 of the Law on
Assembly and Manifestation prohibits blocking the transport movement unless , it is
necessary due to the large numb er of people , and the manifestation can be held without
blocking the traffic movement.
As for Article 11 2 of the same law, which provides the restriction for blocking the traffic
movement during the assembly and/or manifestation, the GoG notes that the mai n purpose
for such restriction is to protect the balance between interests of the local inhabitants and
the participants of assembly/manifestation. If the manifestation interrupts the rights of the
citizens for a short period of time, the organizers are no t offered reasonable alternatives.
The local self -government agency is responsible to keep the balance between interests of
citizens residing/functioning in the vicinity of the assembly and members of
In paragraphs 80 and 77, Spe cial Rapporteur expresses concern regarding “deliberate
recurrence to administrative detention … up to 90 days”, especially in relation to May 26
events and indicates to the “serious lack of judicial guarantees”. In this regard, the GoG
elucidates that on May 26, around 150 protestors were arrested and brought to courts. 75
arrested protesters were fined and 99 were detained up to 2 months for hooliganism and
resistance to the police in line with the Code on Administrative Offences. Out of total
number o f detained persons, only 5 individuals were administratively arrested for 90 days.
It shall be stressed, that all of the detainees had been promptly brought before a judge
within 12 hours as required by legislation. A judge examined each and every case and
decided on the measure of constraint accordingly. As indicated in registration journal run
by every temporary detention isolator approximately 97% of the arrested detainees have
been visited by legal attorneys speedily.
Moreover, the GoG would like to un derscore that Criminal Justice Reform Coordination
Council (CJR Council) has initiated review of the Code on Administrative Offences.
Namely, the Parliament has prepared a new draft Code that the CJR Council has revised
with a team of experts, including re presentatives of national and international non –
governmental organizations. In November 2011, the CJR Council hosted a meeting with
NGO representatives and human rights organizations in order to discuss their
recommendations and comments. In December 2011, a team of experts revised the draft
Code in two directions in line with received recommendation: improving
procedural/fundamental safeguards for persons from the moment of arrest till the end of
court -proceedings (including inter alia evidentiary standard s, access to a lawyer, adequate
12 Article 9 (1) of the Law on Assembly and Manife station
timing for preparing defense and appeal, etc) and improving treatment/living conditions of
administrative detainees in temporary detention isolators (to afford them similar rights to
those detained in criminal proceedings). The revised draft Code has been sent for additional
expertise to the Council of Europe (CoE). CJR Council would wait for CoE expertise
before moving forward with the discussion of the draft Code in the Parliament.
In addition, the Order N1074 of the Minis ter of Internal Affairs of December 28, 2011,
amended the Statute on Temporary Detention Isolators Regarding the Additional Rules and
Conditions of Administrative Detention; amendment already (since January 1, 2012)
provides the same safeguards in detent ion centers as it is prescribed in the draft Code. 13
Based on the above -mentioned, the GoG notes that Georgian legislation prescribes for legal
safeguards in case of administrative detention, violation of which entails responsibility. At
the same time, admi nistrative courts exercise judicial control over cases of administrative
violations. Therefore, employing phrase “lack of judicial guarantees” in paragraph 80 does
not provide accurate description of the legal framework.
Concerning the suspicion raised i n paragraph 78 regarding t he intention of the Georgian
police with regard to May 26 , the GoG, relying on internal and international independent
surveys, further notes that the only policing objective of the May 26 events was to move the
protest from the A venue in order to allow final preparations for the Independence Parade to
On May 26 when the time for holding the assembly expired and it became illegal, the
protesters were given a notification and asked to leave the place peacefully; the police offer
on alternative protest venue clearly demonstrated the police commitment to maintaining the
rights of the protestors and, based on the mentioned surveys, before actual dispersal
everything was done to prevent clashes between the police forces and pro testors.
Particularly, it should be taken into consideration that the police did not react on the
protestors’ provocations hitting sticks on the shields of the police officers, the police
continuously asked them to leave the Avenue, and what’s more import ant, gave specific
legal notice of intention to disperse and gave additional verbal warnings to the protestors to
Furthermore, the mentioned surveys confirm that the vast majority of police officers
deployed on the night of May 25 -26 were dis ciplined and acted within their orders at all
times, and used a proportionate and necessary amount of force to achieve their objectives.
Besides, the Tactical Plan and the Intelligence Analysis were sound, and were correctly and
properly briefed to the pol ice officers in advance to the dispersal operation; the special
tactic of cutting and removing the Southern barrier (which was intentionally constructed by
the protest organizers to hinder escape for the protestors) to allow controlled egress was
appropria te and successful; the arrest strategy was also well prepared.
At the same time, the GoG acknowledges that some shortcomings were revealed during the
dispersal operation, more precisely: the early movement northwards from the Freedom
Square by the police o fficers, responding to a call for assistance at the cinema, led to the
arrest phase being much closer to the Parliament than intended and became interspersed
with the end of initial dispersal from the Parliament area; the fleeing vehicles introduced an
une xpected crisis at an already busy period of the operation; the communications failure
and heavy rain factor left the Forward Field Command and Unit Commanders without clear
direction or ability to fully control the further deployments and to manage the use of force
issues which arose.
13 See Addendum of Georgia to the Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
Due to these shortcomings several incidents of lack of professionalism and use of
disproportionate force by police officers while dispersing the operation were identified and
demonstrated the need of raising professionalism a nd specific skills of police officers in this
Despite of noticed shortcomings and incidents identified thereto the abovementioned
surveys strongly confirm that the sole purpose of the police actions was dispersal of the
illegal demonstration and n ot spreading fear; overall dispersal operation is assessed as
successful and proportionate to the legal aim.
As to the concern enshrined in paragraph 81, regarding increase number of allegations of
violence and ill -treatment against protestors the GoG dee ms it important to underline that
on the contrary to this assessment, a number of international actors have highlighted the
progress made in Georgia in this regard.
In particular: Council of Europe noted that “Following the events of November 2007, the
capacity of the police to maintain order during mass protest actions has improved and its
behaviour has become more professional, as was demonstrated during the spring 2009
protests of the opposition. 14
HRIDC (OSCE/ODIHR) evaluation on various manifestations held throughout the territory
of Georgia is noteworthy as well:
“Several interventions with of use of force by police were carried out in general compliance
with international standards. … While using force the police officers were effectively
differenti ating between perpetrators and peaceful demonstrators in a number of cases.” 15
“Cases of good practice in regards to police action were also observed in a number of
occasions. In these instances officers restrained from intervention during the emergence of
formal grounds and in one case successfully negotiated with the demonstrators.” 16
Moreover, according to the HRIDC Report, throughout the reporting period overall:
different police forces were present in 50 out of 75 assemblies. Restrictions (including
verb al or physical efforts) on the use of space were imposed by them only in 9 instances. 17
And the riot police actually intervened only once, during the May 26 events. 18
Furthermore, the GoG devotes huge attention towards raising awareness on human rights
prote ction among police officers. In this regard, a one -year basic and advanced training on
Crowd Management, which was commissioned by U.S. State Department, was conducted
for relevant police staff. The objective of the trainings was to provide police officers with
the skills necessary to plan for, manage and respond to crowd issues at demonstrations,
public events while respecting human rights and protecting public safety.
4. As per Convention against Torture and other Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or
Puni shment and the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, provided in paragraph 81
relevant stakeholders have underscored substantial progress of Georgia with regard to acts
prohibited by above acts.
14 Council of Europe, Regular report prepared by the Directorate General of Democracy and Political
Affairs (January 2010) , Georgia, SG/Inf (2010)1 final 17 Marc h 2010, §22, available at:
15 HRIDC, Monitoring Freedom of Peaceful Assembly in Georgia. Legislation and Practice , p. 65.
17 Ibid., p. 20.
18 Ibid., p. 33.
In this regard, Council of Europe notes: “[t]he authoriti es have taken measures to combat
ill treatment and impunity, and considerable progress has been made in reducing the risk of
ill-treatment by police officers.” 19
While European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or P unishment (CPT) “ welcomes the determined action taken by the Georgian
authorities to prevent ill -treatment by the police. Considerable progress has been made in
reducing the risk of ill -treatment at the hands of police officers. 20
19 Summary. IV.Concerns related to ad ministration of justice, in: Council of Europe Commissioner for
Human Rights, Report by Thomas Hammarberg, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of
Europe, following his visit to Georgia from 18 to 20 April 2011 , CommDH(2011)22, 30 June 2011,
availa ble at: https://wcd.coe.int/wcd/ViewDoc.jsp?id=1809789.
20 European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or
Punishment, Report to the Georgian Government on the visit to Georgia carried out by the European
Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)
from 5 to 15 February 2010 , CPT/Inf (2010) 27, 21 September 2010, ¶16, available at:
https://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/ geo/2010 -27-inf-eng.htm.