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Statement of NGOs about the Discrediting Campaign against the Constitutional Institute of Public Defender

17.11.2017

 
Under-signatory nongovernmental organizations are concerned with the recent discrediting statements against the acting Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili and the institute of Ombudsman, which were made by the representatives of legislative, executive and judiciary authorities, among them senior government officials. 

In those statements they mostly reacted to the monitoring findings of the Public Defender into the so-called cyanide case, which was published on November 15 and was prepared as a result of surveyed investigation materials and trial monitoring into the case.  In his report, the Public Defender reviewed the serious procedural shortcomings.

In the monitoring report, the Ombudsman reacted to all significant violations, which were criticized by other nongovernmental organizations too both during the investigation stage and court proceedings. Namely, the monitoring report criticized: violation of the presumption of innocence of the accused person,  restricted rights of the advocates through the so-called agreement on non-disclosure,  full closure of the court hearings  and more.

Next day, the prosecutor into the so-called cyanide case made a public statement in response to the monitoring report of the Public Defender , whose statement was aggressive towards the Public Defender. Soon, the Tbilisi City Court disseminated politically motivated statement , where they mention the soon expiring term of the Public Defender in an insulting manner. Minister of Justice joined the smear political campaign with unfair remark and said Ucha Nanuashvili is the “first unfair ombudsman.”

The statement of the Tbilisi City Court is particularly alarming in the chain of statements, because it demonstrates that the Court is either unaware of the Public Defender’s mandate, or their understanding about the institute fully relies on political affiliations that makes the situation worse.

It is not first fact when the senior officials of the government assault the Public Defender and criticize him because of his critical statements towards them.

Nongovernmental organizations call on the senior government officials to refrain from similar statements which weaken and discredit the institute of the public defender particularly in front of the international society.
  • Transparency International – Georgia (TI-Georgia)
  • Media Development Foundation (MDF)
  • Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC)
  • Civil Development Agency (CiDA)
  • Human Rights Center (HRC)
  • Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA)
  • Open Society Foundation Georgia (OSGF)
  • International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)
  • Union Sapari
  • Public Movement for Multinational Georgia (PMMG)
  • Multi- Ethnic Resource Centre on Civic Education Development

 



See the statement of Human Rights Center at http://www.humanrights.ge/index.php?a=main&pid=19123&lang=eng



 
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