Georgia within the Human Rights Report 2020 by HRW –

On January 13, Human Rights Watch, an international organization that monitors human rights, published its annual World Report, a country-by-country analysis of the state of human rights in more than 100 countries and territories worldwide, covering developments in 2020.

The Georgia reporting section raises several concerns, including a lack of accountability for law enforcement abuses, threats to media freedom, disproportionately strict drug policies and discrimination against LGBT people.

It is emphasized that “the political tensions in Georgia after Parliamentary elections on October 31“Remarked the ruling Georgian Dream Party groomed a legislative majority ”among allegations of fraud that leads the opposition to do so boycott the new parliament. “The report reads that international observer completed Although the elections were held in a competitive environment, they were marked by “widespread allegations of voter pressure”.

The report also notes that Parliament has adopted “much-needed labor reform that will restore some protection of labor rights”.

The HRW said in order to mitigate the “devastating economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic” the Georgian government has decided $ 1.5 billion Anti-crisis plan in April and additional measures from USD 132 million three months before the October 31 parliamentary elections, steps that opposition and some civil society groups saw it as “manipulation to attract voters”.

The watchdog also points to the parliament-approved law that allows the government to restrict rights without declaring a state of emergency. “Human rights groups in Georgia found that giving full governance without parliamentary scrutiny was inconsistent with the constitution,” she said.

Determine Guard dogs of the local elections HRW rated the October 31 parliamentary elections as “least democratic and free” under the DG rule, citing election day incidents, verbal and physical confrontations with journalists and observers, violations of voting secrecy and alleged cases of vote buying as some of the main concerns.

It is also noted that on November 8th, without warning of “dozens of peaceful demonstrators”, the police used water cannons in front of the Central Election Commission building.

The report stresses that the lack of accountability for abuse by law enforcement agencies continued throughout the year, with reference to the police investigation into abuse June 20 protests “Was still largely one-sided.”

In assessing media freedom in Georgia, HRW notes that the new management of Adjara TV, the Batumi-based regional public broadcaster, has fired journalists who are critical of the “alleged interference” in the media company’s editorial policy, including news anchor Teona Bakuridze and talk show host Malkhaz Rekhviashvili.

It is also stressed that local human rights groups are seen as a violation of freedom of expression initiated by the State Security Service probe in “alleged sabotage” by the opposition Mtavari Arkhi TV.

Another topic of the international watchdog highlights are the controversial changes under the Electronic Communications Act, which gives the Communications Commission, the state regulator, the power to appoint a “special manager” to oversee any electronic communications company that does not enforce its decisions.

The watchdog notes that despite the 2020 labor reforms, workplace safety remains a “persistent problem” in the country, as “by September 22 workers died in work-related accidents and 110 were injured”.

The HRW stresses that authorities “continue to refuse transgender people to get legal gender recognition without gender-changing surgery” as the COVID-19-induced economic downturn exacerbated their “poor living conditions”. It adds that a 19 year old transgender woman Attempted suicide to “draw attention to the lack of state social support” at a protest in April.

Regarding drug policy, the report notes that although the Constitutional Court ruled that detention for possession of drugs in quantities too low to cause poisoning was unconstitutional, the legislative reform largely changed criminal practices against drug use revised, Georgian lawmakers continued to stall.

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