DRI summarizes the situation of human rights in Georgia in 2023

December 10 is International Human Rights Day. On December 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as "a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations."

On December 10, 75 years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the protection of basic human rights remains a challenge in Georgia. The situation of protection of civil and political rights has worsened - the space for freely expressing dissent in an environment free from fear of repression is decreasing in Georgia, which is reflected in a hostile attitude towards journalists, human rights defenders, civil activists and representatives of civil society organizations, frequent repressions against human rights defenders, the use of disproportionate force during protests and the loyal attitude towards the violence of far-right radical groups. In the reporting period, there were incidents of obstructing the professional activities of journalists during the coverage of protests and administrative arrests of members and leaders of civil society organizations.

The situation has not improved in terms of the independence of the judicial system or individual judges. The imposition of sanctions by the US Department of State on Georgian judges for their corrupt activities was a confirmation of the crisis situation in the judicial system. Instead of responding adequately to the problem, the ruling party expressed solidarity with the judges exposed as corrupt, who are influential members of the clan within the judicial system. Clan-type ruling in the justice system has a negative impact on the quality of everyday justice.

In 2023, in parallel with the legislative changes carried out in a positive way in terms of gender equality, the efforts of Georgian Dream to discredit political opponents on the basis of gender increased, which makes the progress made at the legislative level to ensure gender equality only formal.

The reporting year was quite full of protests and strikes held by people of various professions to protect their rights. Despite the fact that a part of the employees achieved the desired result with the protests, the unpaid overtime work, enjoyment of breaks, the right to take leave or sick leave still remain problematic throughout the country.

The State still lacks a general policy and vision for providing decent housing and combating homelessness. The services available in the country (at the central government and municipal level) relating to homeless people are insufficient and inadequate to deal with the scale of the problem.

In 2023, positive steps were taken in Georgia in terms of access to medicine, which should be evaluated positively. It is welcome that the State satisfied the request of parents of children diagnosed with achondroplasia and ensured the children's right to accessible and quality healthcare.

Despite certain success, the practice of non-transparent decision-making, not involving local population, relating to the use of natural resources needs immediate revision.

In the reporting period, the Russian occupation claimed the lives of two Georgian citizens in the occupied territories of Georgia - representatives of the Russian occupation forces killed Tamaz Ginturi, a resident of Kirbali, in the vicinity of the Lomisa church. On December 10, 2023, Temur Karbaia, a resident of Gali, died of injuries sustained as a result of being beaten by militiamen in Gali. The Democracy Research Institute considers that the efforts of the Georgian authorities to release Irakli Bebua, who is illegally imprisoned in Abkhazia, are ineffective and insufficient.

The Georgian language is being purposefully and consistently suppressed from the daily life of ethnic Georgians in the occupied territories. In addition to the fact that the ethnic Georgian population in occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali is not given the opportunity to receive education in their native language, the Georgians of Gali and Akhalgori, in some cases, are even forbidden to speak their native language.

DRI summarizes the situation of human rights in Georgia in 2023