20:24, Thursday, 17.08.2017
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URGENT APPEALS

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2017-06-30
Letter of the Georgian Non-Governmental Organizations to the European Parliament: Democratic Development of Georgia Is In Danger
I am sending this message on behalf of 32 civil society originations to alert you on some very damaging actions by the ruling political party in Georgia, which does adversely affect the quality of democracy in the country and is a dangerous attempt consolidate political power.
2017-06-26
The Ruling Party’s Decision about the Election System is Unacceptable
The Ruling Party’s Decision about the Election System is Unacceptable
On June 19, the ruling party unveiled its decision to keep the mixed election system for the 2020 parliamentary elections and to replace it with a fully proportional election system for the 2024 elections. In addition, according to representatives of the majority, the threshold for the 2020 elections will be reduced to 3% as a one-time initiative, while the decision about the abolishment of party blocks (electoral coalitions) will remain intact. 
2017-06-16
Nongovernmental Organizations Call for Reforming the Repressive Drug Policy and the Police System
The Coalition for an Independent and Transparent Judiciary and the National Platform for Drug Policy react to the Kutaisi City Court decision on the case of induced suicide committed by Demur Sturia and the criminal case of the band Birzha Mafia pending at Tbilisi City Court.
2017-06-15
NGOs Respond to the Process of Electing Four Members of the High Council of Justice in the Parliament of Georgia
The Parliament of Georgia is reviewing the issue of electing four members of the High Council of Justice of Georgia (HCOJ). On June 6, 2017, at the meeting of the Legal Issues Committee, the Council listened to 29 candidates. Representatives of non-governmental organizations monitored the committee's work and are submitting to the society the evaluation of the selection of the members of the Council by the Committee. 
2017-06-14
Parliament Must Consider All Recommendations of the Venice Commission
On June 16, 2017, the Venice Commission will approve its final opinion about the draft of amendments to the Constitution of Georgia. The Chair of the Parliament of Georgia has reiterated on numerous occasions that the government is ready to consider all recommendations of the Venice Commission; however, following release of preliminary opinion of the Commission on the draft amendments, the chair of parliament and individual MPs from the parliamentary majority have stated that they don’t share some recommendations of the Commission. 
2017-06-09
Coalition Responds to the Proposed Draft Legislation Creating the Investigative Department for Cases of Ill-Treatment
The Coalition to Independent and Transparent Judiciary responds to the draft legislation that would create an investigative department for cases of ill-treatment at the Prosecutor’s Office rather than an independent investigative mechanism. The Coalition believes that this does not meet the minimum requirements for independence and transparency, and clearly demonstrates the government’s lack of political will to implement real reform.
2017-06-09
Joint Open Letter of International Organizations about Afgan Mukhtarli’s Abduction to the Prime Minister and Parliament of Georgia
We write to express our deepest concern about the abduction of Afgan Mukhtarli, an exiled Azerbaijani journalist, on 29 May in Tbilisi. He went missing after leaving his colleagues in the evening, before resurfacing the following day in Baku in the custody of Azerbaijan’s state border agency. 
2017-06-08
STATEMENT OF MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS OF EASTERN PARTNERSHIP CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM GEORGIAN NATIONAL PLATFORM REGARDING THE CASE OF AFGAN MUKHTARLI
We, member organizations of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Georgian National Platform hereby express our deep concern due to the suspicious disappearance of Afgan Mukhtarli, Azerbaijani journalist and activist. 
2017-06-08
Address of Human Rights Center about Azerbaijani Political Activist Dashgin Agararli’s Case
Human Rights Center is alarmed with the increased threats of prosecution, illegal surveillance and extradition of Azerbaijani civil activists residing in Georgia. The Center is particularly alarmed with the possible participation of the Georgian law-enforcement bodies, in particular the State Security Service, in the series of illegal and criminal acts against the Azerbaijani activists in Georgia.
 
2017-06-06
NGOs Address to the Parliament about the Election Process of New Members of the HCOJ
On June 6, 2017 the Legal Issues Committee is reviewing one of the most important issues for the independence of the Georgian judiciary – election of 4 new members in the High Council of Justice. We call on the Parliament of Georgia and the responsible committee to ensure transparent election of the HCOJ members in due respect of their professionalism.  
2017-06-06
არასამთავრობო ორგანიზაციები პარლამენტს მოუწოდებენ, კონსტიტუციის პროექტის განხილვა დაიწყოს საშემოდგომო სესიაზე
ხელმომწერი არასამთავრობო ორგანიზაციები ნეგატიურად ვაფასებთ გადაწყვეტილებას, კონსტიტუციის გადასინჯვის კანონპროექტის ორი მოსმენით განხილვა და მიღება მოხდეს 2017 წლის ივნისის თვეში.
2017-06-05
NGOs Respond to Forced Disappearance of Afgan Mukhtarli
The under signatory organizations express deep concern about the alleged forced disappearance of the Azerbaijani civil activist and journalist Afgan Mukhtarli in Tbilisi in the evening of May 29. According to the recent information provided by his lawyer, the journalist was detained near his house in Tbilisi and forcibly placed in the car. The lawyer said the people, who arrested the journalist, did not present themselves but Mukhtarli doubts they were representatives of the Georgian Special Forces.
2017-06-05
Coalition Addresses the Hearing of Legislative Amendments on Lifetime Appointment of Judges
The Parliament of Georgia is hearing proposed amendments to the legislation regulating judicial probation, with the view of complying with the Constitutional Court decision[1] on the subject. The amendments are important for ensuring that competent and honorable judges populate the judicial system and also the accountability of High Council of Justice (HCOJ), since the law should determine the circle of judges who will be exempted from the probation period and set the procedure for their lifetime appointment.
2017-06-02
NGOs refuse to present their report and protest of the developments in the judicial system
In protest of the developments in the judicial system, NGOs refuse to present their report and demand creation of a parliamentary forum to discuss the developments and prompt reforms

On May 30, the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) and Transparency International – Georgia were scheduled to present their fifth report of monitoring the High Council of Justice of Georgia (HCoJ). However, in protest over the situation in the judicial system, the two NGOs refused to present the report. 
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