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April 9, 2011 / joninews

US State Department Lambasts Georgia on Human Rights Record

US State Department report lambasts Georgia on Human Rights

Glossy turd version here >> http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23331

Prisoner abuse

Concerns remain about reported cases of abuse of prisoners, arbitrary detentions, selective application of law and pressure on businesses, according to the U.S. Department of State’s annual human rights report, released on April 8.

Impunity for government officials

According to the report, allegations of selective application of law, wherein crimes involving government officials or supporters were slowly investigated and often remained pending and those involving opposition were investigated quickly, “led to allegations of impunity for government officials.”

Political prisoners

‘There continued to be allegations of a lack of due process, government pressure on the judiciary, and that individuals remained in prison for politically motivated reasons,” according to the report.

Suppression of dissent

It says that were also reports of pressure on businesses “to suppress potential support for the opposition and independent media.”

“There also were credible allegations that businesses were pressured to contribute to the ruling party,” the report reads.

Like the previous report, covering 2009, the recent one again says that “there were credible reports that the government restricted freedom of speech and the press.”

High-level corruption

The report says that “high-level corruption remained a concern.”

“Observers considered the official anticorruption campaign too heavily focused on prosecution as opposed to prevention and unstructured rather than systemic and participatory. Areas of concern included democratic institutions, civil society involvement in the planning and execution of public policy, property rights, and elite corruption. NGOs also raised concerns about the government's connection to business and, in particular, corruption in the conduct of bids,” the report reads.

The main shortcomings described in the report are of particular concern to the United States “given our administration’s commitment to the engagement, support and protection of civil society and human rights defenders,” Ambassador John Bass said.

Ching! Ching!

“We also believe that stronger Georgian democracy requires the most competitive possible environment for the 2012 parliamentary and 2013 presidential elections. That’s why much of our assistance, including 60 million dollars in new investments this year, is focused on supporting electoral reform and strengthening the rule of law, independent media and civil society watchdog,” the U.S. diplomat said.

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