Public and Religious Organizations submitted an alternative report to the UN within UPR

8th of July, the group of human rights organizations submitted an alternative coalition report within the UN Universal Periodic Review, which assesses the human rights and social situation of ethnic and religious minorities in Georgian for the last five years.

The first part of the coalition report addresses the challenges of ethnic minorities to create a fair political, social, and cultural environment for them and to protect their rights. The report reviews low political participation of minorities and their weak engagement on central, regional, and local government levels, state language politics, inequality, and inaccessibility of education for Armenian and Azerbaijanian language students, the domination of security perspectives in minority policies. In that regard, the report discusses the illegal killing case of Temirlan Machalikashvili, organized massive police forces in Pankisi Gorge related to the HPPS, and recently, the commencement of a problematic investigation by State Security Service concerning the Marneuli processes. Apart from this, the alternative report mentions the non-development of basic social infrastructure in minority regions (water, roads, kinder gardens, land resources, etc), increasing migration, and other issues of minority social vulnerability, including the social crises created after COVID Pandemic.

The separate chapter is dedicated to the social and rights situation of ethnic Georgians living in the occupied territories of Georgia, the harsh violation practices, and social crises caused by the illegal restriction of freedom of movement. Besides, the coalition report addresses the issue of journalists not being allowed to cross the de facto borders of the occupied territories, thus limiting their ability to freely broadcast the problems on the ground. The report also covers the difficult social situation in the Georgian-controlled territory in the villages close to the conflict area.

The last chapter of the coalition report examines the situation related to the Freedom of Religion in Georgia. The report criticizes politicized and unequal distribution of resources and restitution policies, including the report mentions the Forest Code adopted in 2020, which contains discriminative provisions. The report also discusses the separate cases of rights violations, which were not effectively responded to in Georgia, including the Kobuleti boarding house case, historical mosque case in Mokhe, Tandoiants Church case. The report mentions the discriminative refusal to construct a new mosque in Batumi and pending litigation. The coalition report also strictly criticizes the State Agency of Religious Affairs and its controlling practices of religious organizations, also indoctrination and proselytism cases in public schools and not multi-cultural environment there.

The alternative coalition report suggests 41 recommendations in total on the abovementioned problems, which we have presented to the UN member states, which should be accepted and implemented by Georgian within the next UPR cycle.

The Universal Periodic Review is one of the most effective tools for monitoring the human rights situation in member states, where states submit national reports on the legal situation in their country every five years. In this process of accountability, human rights organizations have the opportunity to submit alternative reports and lobby. Based on the state and alternative reports, the UN member states give specific recommendations to the relevant state, to which the respondent state undertakes to comply with its implementation.

The group of organizations, that worked on this alternative report includes 9 human rights organizations and 3 religious organizations. This report has been produced with the financial assistance of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. The content of this report is the sole responsibility of the Coalition and can under no circumstance be regarded as reflecting the positions of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

  • Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC)
  • Democratic Research Institute (DRI)
  • Human Rights Center
  • Platform Salam
  • Youth Initiative Group of Pankisi
  • Civic Integration Fund
  • Kakheti Regional Development Fund (RDF)
  • Peace Foundation
  • Youth for Diplomatic Engagement
  • Georgian Muslims Union
  • Georgian Evangelist-Baptist Church
  • The Supreme Religious Administration of Georgia's All Muslims