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OMCT/HRIDC: Torture can never be justified under any circumstances

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, 26 June 2007

Georgia: The lack of reparation for torture survivors and the lack of appropriate investigations of torture

On the occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and Human Rights Information and Documentation Center (HRIDC) call on the government to consider adopting specific legislation in respect of compensation, reparation and restitution.

Geneva, Tbilisi, 26 June 2007 – In May 2006, OMCT and HRIDC have submitted jointly with Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) and The Public Health and Medicine Development Fund of Georgia (PHMDFG) a report on human rights violations in Georgia to the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) . In this report, the excessive use of force by law enforcement officials has been highlighted as one of the most serious problems in Georgia and one of the main causes of torture and ill-treatment.

However, the lack of appropriate investigations into allegations of torture and ill-treatment and prosecutions thereon has revealed to be a major obstacle in the fight against impunity. Moreover, whilst many victims have refrained from identifying their perpetrators of fear of retaliation, victims who dare lodge complaint against their perpetrator often lack adequate guarantees in terms of reparation and compensation.

While the Constitution and the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) contain provisions regarding the right to compensation for victims (article 42 (9) of the Constitution, article 39, article 33(4) of the CPC), there is no explicit law that provides for reparations. In this regard the CAT has recommended that Georgia should consider adopting specific legislation in respect of compensation, reparation and restitution, and that in the meantime, practical measures be taken to provide redress and fair and adequate compensation, including the means for as full rehabilitation as possible .

On the occasion of 26th June, OMCT and HRIDC call on the Georgian government to fully implement the CAT concluding observations. Georgia should take firm measures to eradicate all forms of ill-treatment by law enforcement officials, and ensure prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigations into all allegations of torture and ill-treatment, prosecute and punish perpetrators, and provide effective remedies to the victims. In this respect, OMCT and HRIDC call on the authorities to adopt a specific legislation in respect of compensation, reparation and restitution for victims.

For inquiry, please contact:

OMCT - Alexandra Kossin, tel: +41 22 8094939, email: ak@omct.org

HRIDC - Ucha Nanuashvili, Executive Director, tel: (+995 32) 99 04 02, email: hridc@hridc.org

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