COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIESUNDER ARTICLE 19 OF THE CONVENTION
Third periodic reports due in 2003
[27 November 2003]
Introduction 1 - 103
Articles 1 and 2General provisions 11 - 246
Article 3Extradition, expulsion and return 25 - 288
Article 4Punishment for using torture 29 - 349
Article 5Jurisdiction of the State over the offence of torture 3510
Article 6Procedure for detention of a person allegedto have committed acts of torture 36 - 3910
Article 7 Prosecution of persons suspected of committingacts of torture 40 - 4311
Article 8 Extradition 44 - 4512
Article 9 Legal assistance 46 - 4812
Article 10Personnel training programmes 49 - 5513
Article 11 Monitoring 56 - 7414
Article 12 Investigation of possible acts of torture 75 - 8219
Article 13 The right to submit complaints 83 - 8520
Article 14 Compensation and rehabilitation 86 - 8721
Article 15 Statements made under torture 88 - 9322
Article 16 Other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment 94 - 9522
1.Georgia acceded to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in September 1994. The Convention entered into force for Georgia in November 1994. In accordance with the request contained in article 19 of the Convention, in June 1996 Georgia submitted its initial report on measures to implement its obligations under the Convention (CAT/C/28/Add.1) to the Committee against Torture.
2.In November 1999, in keeping with the established time limits, Georgia submitted its second periodic report on its implementation of the Convention against Torture (CAT/C/48/Add.1), which took account of the conclusions and recommendations formulated by the Committee against Torture following consideration of Georgia’s initial report. In May 2001, the Committee discussed the second periodic report and adopted the relevant conclusions and recommendations (A/56/44, para. 82). Pursuant to one of the Committee’s recommendations, this document was translated into the State language (Georgian) in a timely manner and published in the official press organ. In addition, the text of the second periodic report and of the Committee’s conclusions and recommendations have been posted on the Internet site of the Department for Human Rights and Intellectual and Humanitarian Security of the National Security Council of Georgia (www.dhr-nsc.gov.ge) and are available to anyone who wishes to consult them.
3.The third periodic report on the implementation of the Convention against Torture was prepared by the Department for Human Rights and Intellectual and Humanitarian Security of the National Security Council of Georgia under the supervision of the Council’s Deputy Secretary on Human Rights Issues. Since January 2000, this body has been given responsibility for preparing State reports submitted to United Nations treaty bodies. The National Security Council is a constitutional advisory body headed by the President of Georgia. Materials submitted by various government bodies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and statistical and other information were used in the preparation of this report.
4.Since the submission of the second periodic report and its consideration by the Committee against Torture, Georgia has adopted a number of regulatory acts to prevent torture and other forms of unlawful treatment and to ensure that persons who engage in such practices are punished. These innovations will be described in detail in the chapters of this report that deal with specific articles of the Convention against Torture. Nevertheless, it seems appropriate to draw the Committee’s attention to the most recent regulatory act adopted in this area, namely, Presidential Decree No. 468 of 27 September 2003, which approved the Plan of Action against Torture in Georgia for the period 2003-2005.
5.The aforementioned regulatory act was drafted by the Department for Human Rights and Intellectual and Humanitarian Security of the National Security Council of Georgia within the framework of a cooperation agreement with the Human Dimension Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Georgia. The draft plan of action was discussed at two round tables held in Tbilisi, with the participation of officials from interested ministries and departments, representatives of international organizations and local NGOs. The draft was studied by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and was favourably received. The Department for Human Rights held discussions on the draft plan of action throughout the country - in eight regions of Georgia - with members of law enforcement and procuratorial bodies from some 50 districts. The visits to Georgia’s regions also made it possible to hold training courses for such persons on ways of prohibiting and preventing torture. The meetings in the regions demonstrated that members of law enforcement and procuratorial bodies, who will be responsible for implementing the Plan of Action, approach the problem of torture with due seriousness and understanding. This gives reason to believe that the implementation of the provisions of the Plan of Action will be rather effective. In this regard, cooperation between the Department for Human Rights of the National Security Council and the OSCE Mission should be considered highly successful. That is how both parties evaluate such cooperation, and they intend to continue it in the context of monitoring the Plan of Action.
6.The Plan of Action against Torture in Georgia for the period 2003-2005 includes the following basic goals and tasks:
Amendments to existing legislation and drafting of new legislative acts with a view to fulfilling international obligations and ensuring that Georgia’s domestic legislation is in conformity with the standards of the United Nations and Council of Europe. This section of the Plan of Action will be implemented by the Interim Interdepartmental Commission on the Drafting of Proposals on Reform of the Security and Law Enforcement Bodies attached to the National Security Council, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice of Georgia;
The prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and punishment for such practices, the reduction of incidents of torture, the criminal and administrative prosecution and punishment of all persons guilty of such practices, and overcoming the syndrome of impunity. Although the Office of the Procurator of Georgia is principally responsible for implementing this section of the Plan of Action, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Justice, the Office of the Public Advocate (Ombudsman) and Georgian NGOs will participate in the implementation of individual tasks;
Prohibition of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in the penal correction system through the reform of that system, and improvement of the living conditions, diet and medical treatment of convicts. The Ministry of Justice is mainly responsible for these tasks; it is assisted by the Office of the Procurator, the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Welfare, and Georgian NGOs;
Implementation of special measures to protect women and minors from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, with a view to eliminating such practices and improving the living conditions, diet and medical treatment of convicted minors. The Office of the Procurator and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Education have been entrusted with the implementation of the tasks contained in this section of the Plan of Action;
Ongoing monitoring of efforts to eliminate torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, the objective of which is to oversee the implementation of the Plan of Action, identify and study existing problems and make recommendations on how to overcome them. Under the Plan of Action, the ministries and departments responsible for implementing the Plan must carry out internal monitoring and submit annual reports to the President of Georgia. The Plan of Action also provides for external monitoring in which the Department for Human Rights and Intellectual and Humanitarian Security of the National Security Council and the Office of the Public Advocate (Ombudsman) will take part. The process and results of monitoring will be widely covered on the website of the Department for Human Rights, in the media and by Georgian NGOs.
7.It should be noted that the Plan of Action was drafted with maximum consideration for the recommendations of the Committee against Torture. As will be seen in the relevant chapters of this report, this is not the first regulatory act to be adopted in this area. The Plan of Action is special in that it constitutes a comprehensive and coordinated programme for eradicating torture, making active use of the potential of civil society. The Plan of Action identifies priority goals for institutions where efforts to eliminate torture and other impermissible and unlawful treatment are most urgently needed. It is significant that the implementation of the Plan does not, as a rule, require additional appropriations, which is of no small importance for a country like Georgia. For example, allocations for the improvement of convicts’ living conditions and diet are always included in the State budget. At the same time, the Plan of Action stresses the need for the more rational use of existing means and resources. Each task of the Plan of Action has rigorous but realistic time limits for its implementation. In this regard, it should be mentioned that the Plan of Action received favourable comments at the Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting on the Prevention of Torture held in Vienna in November 2003, with the participation of representatives of the countries members of OSCE. In particular, the Meeting noted that the drafting and implementation of such plans would also be advisable in other OSCE countries. The English texts of the Plan of Action and the relevant Presidential Decree are annexed to this report.
8.As mentioned in the second periodic report, Georgia acceded to the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and to its protocols. In mid-2001, a delegation of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment made its first visit to Georgia. In keeping with the European Committee’s mandate, during the visit members of the delegation inspected, without hindrance, establishments and institutions that were most likely to be places where torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment would be practised. On the basis of the outcome of the visit, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture prepared a report and recommendations for Georgia. With the consent of the Georgian Government, the report was published first in English and later in Georgian (CPT/Inf(2000)/14). The Government of Georgia is successfully cooperating with the European Committee and has a high regard for its opinions. The Plan of Action takes account of many of the European Committee’s recommendations. The European Committee intends to make its next visit to Georgia at the end of 2003.
9.During the discussion of Georgia’s second periodic report, members of the Committee against Torture recommended that Georgia consider the possibility of making a declaration under article 22 of the Convention. During the reporting period, Georgia made the declaration under article 22, to the effect that it recognizes the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications from or on behalf of individuals subject to its jurisdiction who claim to be victims of a violation by a State party of the provisions of the Convention. Moreover, under the Plan of Action, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice were instructed to prepare, by the end of 2003, proposals on the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention.
10.Over the reporting period, the text of the Convention against Torture was repeatedly translated into Georgian, mostly by NGOs.
Articles 1 and 2 (General provisions)
11.In its recommendations on the outcome of the consideration of Georgia’s second periodic report on the implementation of the Convention against Torture, the Committee recommended that “the State party amend its domestic penal law to include a definition of torture which is fully consistent with the definition contained in article 1 of the Convention, and provide for appropriate penalties” (A/50/44, para. 82 (a)).
12.On 17 May 2002, the President of Georgia issued Decree No. 240 on measures to strengthen the protection of human rights in Georgia, in accordance with which the Ministry of Justice was instructed to “submit proposals regarding the compatibility of the concept of ‘torture’ as defined in the Georgian Criminal Code with the provisions of the Convention against Torture … and prepare a bill to make any necessary changes in the Georgian Criminal Code”. The Ministry of Justice prepared a bill to amend the Georgian Criminal Code, which was adopted by Parliament in June 2003. In accordance with that legislation, article 335 of the Criminal Code (Coercion with a view to obtaining an explanation, evidence or a conclusion), which is contained in the chapter entitled “Official crimes”, was amended. According to the new wording of this article, “forcing persons to give an explanation or evidence, or forcing experts to give a conclusion, committed by an official or a person acting in an official capacity, with the use of threats, deceit, blackmail or any other unlawful action” is punishable by deprivation of liberty for from two to five years, and [the guilty parties] shall be prohibited from holding an official position or engaging in (certain) activities for up to five years. The same acts, committed “with the use of violence that endangers life or health, or with the threat of such violence, and also with the use of torture”, are punishable by deprivation of liberty for from 4 to 10 years, and the [guilty parties] shall be prohibited from holding an official position or engaging in (certain) activities for up to 5 years.
13.A study of the new wording of article 335 of the Criminal Code shows that, on the whole, its provisions reflect the definition of “torture” as contained in article 1 of the Convention. Article 335 also imposes rather severe sanctions. It should be emphasized that, while the Criminal Code retains articles 125 (Beating) and 126 (Torture), those two articles have been included in the chapter entitled “Crimes against health”. Article 335 in the Criminal Code criminalizes the use of torture or other unlawful treatment by an official and makes it easier to identify offences of this nature and to obtain a clearer idea of the real situation concerning these types of acts and their punishment.
14.Under the Plan of Action, the Ministry of Justice must, by the end of 2003, prepare a bill that would make the torture of women a qualifying and aggravating circumstance.
15.In February 2002, the President of Georgia signed a decree instructing the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Justice, together with the Georgian Procurator’s Office, plan measures to give effect to implement the President’s initiative to make Georgia a “torture-free zone”. This initiative, which was put forward by the head of State at the end of 2001, has received wide support both in the Government and in civil society. The aforementioned plans have been developed and are currently being implemented. The relevant chapters of this report will provide more detailed information on the measures taken to implement this initiative.
16.The information contained in the second periodic report concerning constitutional and legislative norms to prevent torture is still valid. At the same time, Georgian legislation has been amended with a view to strengthening guarantees of the non-use of torture and other unlawful treatment.
17.On 29 January 2003, the Georgian Constitutional Court examined and allowed in part the constitutional action brought by the Ombudsman and several NGOs to have a number of provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure declared unconstitutional. Specifically, these were the norms regulating detention and the detainee’s exercise of his or her right to a defence. The most important decisions of the Court in relation to the issue under discussion are reproduced below.
18.The Constitutional Court attached considerable weight to the definition of the precise moment of arrest, noting that “a person is deemed to have been detained from the moment when, in cases and on grounds stipulated by law, a person specially authorized to carry out an arrest restricts that person’s constitutionally guaranteed rights”.
19.The Court ruled unconstitutional and struck down the following grounds for detention that previously existed under procedural law:
Need to present a person to the police;
Having no fixed abode;
Failure to establish a person’s identity;
When there is “other evidence”.
20.The Court also indicated that only persons officially recognized as suspects may be detained.
21.In its decision, the Constitutional Court emphasized that, “immediately upon being detained, persons must have their rights explained to them and be given the opportunity to exercise the following rights:
“–The right to remain silent;
“–The right not to incriminate themselves;
“–The right to be assisted by counsel.”
22.With reference to the last-mentioned provision, the Court deemed it necessary to explain that “detained suspects may request the assistance of counsel not only prior to their (initial) interrogation but as soon as they are arrested, in order to safeguard their legitimate interests and provide them with competent legal assistance”.
23.The Committee should also be aware of a number of changes that have been incorporated into Georgian law as a result of the Constitutional Court’s ruling. Thus, the Court noted that “the statutorily defined limit on the duration of unsupervised meetings between (detainees) and their counsel (namely one hour a day) is unconstitutional … because the duration of the meeting should vary with the complexity of the criminal case. Moreover, this restriction should not be used for the deliberate obstruction of either of the parties to the proceedings who enjoy equal rights”. Finally, the Court ruled that a body administering a case must postpone an investigative action or a court hearing if counsel is unable to attend for good reasons.
24.At the same time, it should be noted that, in practice, violations of the constitutionally and statutorily defined 72-hour period of short-term detention do occur. Accordingly, the General Inspectorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is taking a number of practical steps, for example scheduled and unannounced checks of duty units and police lock-ups. In 2002, there were 65 checks of this kind, as a result of which disciplinary sanctions were taken against those guilty of the offences listed above; 26 officers were relieved of their duties. According to statistics supplied by the Corrections Department of the Ministry of Justice, in 2001 a total of 238 remand prisoners were transferred to prisons in breach of statutory deadlines; in the first 10 months of 2002, this trend slackened off, with 136 prisoners in this category. According to recent data supplied by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, during the period January-July 2003 only 12 prisoners were transferred to prisons in breach of the 72-hour period of short-term detention. Thus, legislation has begun to be observed much more effectively.
Article 3 (Extradition, expulsion and return)
25.Over the reporting period, criminal procedure legislation regulating extradition, expulsion and return was amended in the area of procedure for conducting and documenting these actions. In addition, a number of amendments affected article 257 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, according to which extradition is not permitted in cases where the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution established by the Georgian Criminal Code has expired, “unless otherwise provided in an international treaty to which Georgia is a party”.
26.The second periodic report noted that, upon entry into the Council of Europe, Georgia assumed the obligation to accede to the European Convention on Extradition. In February 2001, the Parliament of Georgia ratified the European Convention. Georgia is also a State party to the 1993 Minsk Convention on Legal Assistance in Civil, Family and Criminal Matters, which regulates a number of issues involving extradition.
27.During the reporting period, the extradition of a group of citizens of the Russian Federation of Chechen nationality who had crossed the border into Georgia and remained there, was widely publicized and debated. The Office of the Procurator-General of the Russian Federation applied to the competent authorities of Georgia for the extradition of those persons, claiming that those citizens had committed crimes in the territory of the Russian Federation. After the completion of the legally established procedures, several of those persons were handed over to the Russian Federation. The competent authorities of Georgia received advance official notification that “the Office of the Procurator-General of the Russian Federation assures Georgia that in the Russian Federation these persons shall be given all … rights to a defence, [and] they shall not be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” (letter from the Russian Federation of 27 September 2002). Following an investigation into the matter, Georgia learned that some of the individuals who had crossed the border were Georgian citizens, which automatically excluded the possibility of their extradition, since article 57 of the Minsk Convention, and article 62 of the Georgian-Russian Treaty on Reciprocal Legal Assistance clearly prohibit the extradition of a citizen of one State to another State.
28.In connection with this extradition case, a number of Chechens lodged a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights, referring, in particular, to article 3 (Prohibition of torture) of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The complaint was admitted but has not yet been considered.
Article 4 (Punishment for using torture)
29.According to information from the Georgian Procurator’s Office, from 2000 through the first half 2003, procuratorial bodies brought criminal proceedings in 55 cases involving the commission of various kinds of unlawful actions (24 in 2000-2001 and 31 in 2002 and the first half of 2003). Twenty of those cases involved official misconduct - overstepping or abuse of authority, unlawful detention, or unacceptable treatment of detainees. Nine police officers were placed in pre-trial detention as a preventive measure. In 2000 and 2001, the court handed down convictions in only two cases. In 2002, four criminal cases were referred to the court for examination on the merits, and another four cases are the subject of pre-trial investigations.
30.Both in the capital and in the regions, the Georgian Procurator’s Office has instituted hotlines whereby anyone may telephone a procurator at any time to report a violation of his or her rights. The Procurator’s Office pays special attention to cases involving the unlawful physical assault of detainees and remand prisoners by police officers, with a view to conducting a proper investigation and prosecuting the guilty parties. Moreover, during the reporting period the central administration of the Procurator’s Office has created a special human rights unit, which is responsible, inter alia, for responding immediately to reports from citizens and, within the scope of its competence, removing any violations found.
31.The Ministry of Internal Affairs has reported that, in 2002 a total of 287 case files involving internal investigations of unauthorized actions and human rights violations by police officers were sent to the Procurator’s Office. This figure is approximately 25 per cent higher than the comparable indicator for 2001. In addition to criminal proceedings instituted in these cases (as described above), 92 police officers were dismissed from the force (including 12 senior officers at various levels). Seventy-four officers were relieved of their duties (including 33 senior officers at various levels). In all, 382 officers were disciplined (177 received reprimands and 198 severe reprimands). All these figures are significantly higher than the corresponding figures for 2001.
32.According to information from the Ministry of Justice, in the period from January to December 2002, criminal proceedings were brought against eight prison officers. Of these, four were prosecuted for dereliction of official duty (article 342, paragraph 1, of the Criminal Code); two for exceeding their authority (art. 333, para. 1); and two for abuse of authority (art. 332, para. 1). In addition, over the same period, disciplinary measures were taken against another 390 officers. Of these, 160 were relieved of their duties for conduct unbecoming and 84 were summarily dismissed. The rest were subjected to disciplinary sanctions of varying degrees of severity.
33.At the same time, according to the Ministry of Justice, the human rights protection unit of the Corrections Department received no complaints of ill-treatment at the hands of prison officers from remand or convicted prisoners in 2002. It should be noted that the Deprivation of Liberty Act and the Ombudsman Act make it possible to submit such communications without impediment.
34.The Office of the Ombudsman of Georgia has established a rapid response force that is financed under programmes of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. The force is authorized to visit places of deprivation of liberty, including police establishments and accept and investigate complaints. Over the current reporting period, the work of this body was rather effective. Thus, according to the Ombudsman’s report covering the first six months of 2002, the activities of the rapid response force have enabled the Ombudsman to submit 54 recommendations to the Procurator-General and the Minister of Internal Affairs concerning human rights violations that it has identified. As noted in the report, the Ombudsman’s intervention facilitated the restoration of violated rights in a number of cases.
Article 5 (Jurisdiction of the State over the offence of torture)
35.The legislative provisions referred to in the initial report on implementation of the Convention against Torture are still in force. As noted in the second periodic report, the application of those provisions throughout the territory of Georgia is complicated by the existence of two self-proclaimed republics within Georgia’s internationally recognized borders: Abkhazia and former South Ossetia, over which State jurisdictions is de facto non‑existent. Unfortunately, over the reporting period there was no progress towards resolving this problem. At the same time, the Government of Georgia wishes to emphasize, once again, that this circumstance does not in any way relieve the State of its obligations under the Convention, which are applicable to the entire territory of Georgia.
Article 6 (Procedure for detention of a person alleged to have committed acts of torture)
36.Reference was made in paragraphs 17 to 21 above to a number of innovations relating to detention and on which the Constitutional Court has issued its decision. These provisions are also reflected in Georgia’s new Code of Criminal Procedure.
37.At the same time, it should be noted that, in practice, violations of the constitutionally and statutorily defined 72-hour-period of short-term detention do occur. Accordingly, the General Inspectorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is taking a number of practical steps, for example scheduled and unannounced checks of duty units and police lock-ups. In 2002, there were 65 checks of this kind, as a result of which disciplinary sanctions were taken against those guilty of the offences listed above; 26 officers were relieved of their duties.
38.It should be noted that, over the reporting period, a number of bodies were included in the conduct of initial inquires, including:
The relevant security service unit of the Corrections Department of the Ministry of Justice - for offences committed in a place where a correctional institution is situated, and also in cases of violations of service procedure by members of correctional institutions;
The executive police administration of the executive department of the Ministry of Justice - for offences committed against measures to implement judicial decisions.
These amendments were made to article 66 of the Code of Criminal Procedure in March 2002.
39.The provisions described in the second periodic report concerning compensation for damages caused as a result of illegal and groundless detention (see CAT/C/48/Add.1, para. 51) are still in force.
Article 7 (Prosecution of persons suspected of committing acts of torture)
40.The information on criminal-law guarantees of the implementation of this article of the Convention against Torture is still valid.
41.Plans of activities to implement the President’s initiative to make Georgia a “torture-free zone” (see paragraph 15 above) have been developed and are being implemented. In particular, the plan drawn up by the Georgian Procurator’s Office provides that:
Local procuratorial bodies shall systematically check the work of law enforcement agencies to prevent and identify instances of torture and other forms of unlawful conduct and, if necessary, take measures as prescribed by law to prosecute the guilty parties;
Similar checks (and investigations, if warranted) shall be undertaken pursuant to complaints by citizens and their attorneys and also with regard to allegations made in the mass media;
Procuratorial units supervising the work of bodies conducting initial inquiries and preliminary investigations and of the correctional authorities shall regularly monitor the progress of checks or the investigation of instances of unlawful physical treatment of detainees and remand prisoners;
The central and local internal affairs agencies shall notify a procurator without delay of any cases of torture or other forms of unlawful conduct that come to light, and shall report on measures taken in this regard;
When a remand prisoner enters [a correctional institution] with bodily injuries, senior officers at the Corrections Department of the Ministry of Justice shall immediately forward the relevant case file to a procurator’s office for further action;
Procuratorial bodies are primed for ongoing cooperation with the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights, the Ombudsman, the Corrections Department of the Ministry of Justice and other relevant departments.
42.The Presidential Decree on measures to strengthen the protection of human rights in Georgia requests the Office of the Procurator of Georgia:
“(b)To institute criminal proceedings and conduct appropriate investigations when bodily injury is found to have been inflicted on a person whose liberty has been restricted;
“(c)To institute special monitoring at places of detention and deprivation of liberty with a view to identifying and eradicating cases of torture or degrading treatment or punishment, and prosecute persons found to have committed such acts.”
43.This report has already provided information on measures taken by the Procurator’s Office to implement the instructions of the President of Georgia, and on a number of practical results in prosecuting persons found to have committed acts of torture or engaged in other unlawful forms of treatment. It should be noted that, in a number of cases, criminal proceedings were instituted on the basis of publications in the press and information broadcast on television. However, it should be pointed out that, as a rule, the judicial investigation of such cases concluded with suspended sentences for the guilty parties.
Article 8 (Extradition)
44.The chapter of the second periodic report that deals with this article of the Convention provides comprehensive information on the legal regulation of extradition issues.
45.With regard to the practical aspects of the problem, the Georgian Procurator’s Office has reported that, in 2002-2003, there were no instances of extradition to Georgia by foreign States of persons accused of engaging in torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. During the reporting period, Georgia did not receive any extradition requests.
Article 9 (Legal assistance)
46.The norms of criminal procedure governing legal assistance have been amended as a result of Georgia’s ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Thus, article 252 of the Code of Criminal Procedure has incorporated the provision that “if a citizen of a foreign State or a stateless person, having committed an offence in the territory of Georgia, has left Georgia, all the materials (…) of the case must be transmitted to the Procurator-General of Georgia and/or the body that is authorized under Georgian legislation to cooperate with the International Criminal Court, which forward the case materials to the relevant body of the foreign State or to the International Criminal Court for the continuation of criminal proceedings …”.
47.In May 2003, the Georgian Parliament ratified the Agreement between Georgia and the United States of America regarding the Surrender of Persons to the International Criminal Court, according to which Georgia and the United States pledge not to surrender to the Court persons from one of the parties who are in the territory of the other party, unless the first party agrees to the surrender of such persons. It should be noted that this Agreement “takes into consideration article 98” of the Rome Statute, which relates to cooperation between the Court and a State party with respect to waiver of immunity and consent to surrender a person to the Court.
48.In July 2003, the Georgian Parliament ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Article 10 (Personnel training programmes)
49.Pursuant to the Committee’s recommendation “to provide training in human rights, particularly on the prohibition of torture, to police and prison officers”, it might be useful to inform the Committee of the following practical steps that have already been taken in this regard.
50.Presidential Decree No. 240 (see paragraph 12 above) contains, inter alia, the requirement that the relevant departments raise the standard of vocational training for procuratorial officials, police and prison officers with a view to preventing torture and other unlawful treatment and organizing special training for experts and medical personnel with a view to identifying and documenting cases of torture.
51.In 2002, representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs took part in a number of training programmes. These included:
Further training courses in mid-May on the legislative underpinning of human rights and fundamental freedoms organized by the United Nations Development Programme, the Embassy of the Netherlands in Georgia, the Ombudsman and the Ministry of Internal Affairs;
A seminar on the protection of human rights in police work, held at the Ministry of Internal Affairs in June, with the involvement of officials from the Office of the Ombudsman, the Georgian Procurator’s Office and officials from internal affairs agencies responsible for activities in the field of human rights;
A seminar on the organization of police work and a police code of ethics, held in October with the involvement of experts from the Council of Europe;
A seminar in November held by the Office of the Ombudsman, with assistance from the Council of Europe, devoted to ways and means of preventing unlawful treatment of detainees by police officers;
A seminar on the human rights situation in Georgia and European human rights standards was held in November at the Ministry of Internal Affairs Academy;
A project entitled “Seminars at police stations and monitoring of pretrial detention facilities”, organized jointly by the Department for Human Rights and Intellectual and Humanitarian Security of the National Security Council and the NGO organization Former Political Prisoners for Human Rights, was held from November 2002 through June 2003. The project included human rights training for police officers at 45 internal affairs units throughout Georgia.
52.The curriculum of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Academy includes a certain number of lectures and seminars on human rights questions. As a separate issue, ways of preventing torture and other inhuman or degrading treatment are studied. Specifically, the curriculum provides for the holding of four lectures and two seminars on this subject.
53.During interviews held with a view to certifying staff of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, particular attention is devoted to ensuring that law enforcement officers are aware of and understand the constitutional norms and guarantees relating to human rights, particularly the prevention of torture.
54.As noted above, from June to August 2003, in the context of the drafting of the Plan of Action, the Department for Human Rights and Intellectual and Humanitarian Security of the National Security Council conducted training courses dealing with measures to combat torture in the eight largest regions of Georgia. The participants in the training courses included directors of law enforcement agencies and procurator’s offices from approximately 50 districts of Georgia (some 300 persons). The training included a discussion of the following topics: the United Nations Convention against Torture and its main provisions and the obligations assumed by Georgia under the Convention; and the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the functions, authority and activities of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Georgia. Representatives of the OSCE Mission in Georgia also took part in the training.
55.According to information from the Georgian Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Welfare, efforts are currently under way to create a branch residency programme specializing in forensic inquiries. The programme will include training for specialists in identifying signs of the use of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, as well as the consequences of impermissible psychological pressure which, under the Convention, is part of the definition of torture.
Article 11 (Monitoring)
56.The constitutional and legislative norms that guarantee the implementation of the provisions of article 11 of the Convention against Torture have, on the whole, remained in force. In this connection, the Deprivation of Liberty Act, adopted in July 1999, clearly regulates the conditions and procedure for pretrial detention and serving court sentences. Although the Act entered into force in January 2000, some articles of the Act entered into force only in January 2002 (standards on living space for prisoners and on certain conditions relating to the serving of sentences by minors). In January 2004, a provision of this Act will enter into force, whereby a convicted person who does not know the State language (Georgian) shall have his rights, the regulations of the correctional institution and any requirements relating to him explained to him in his native language or in another language that he understands (art. 21, para. 4).
57.From the moment the Deprivation of Liberty Act entered into force, the Georgian penitentiary system ceased to be subordinate to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and came under the administration of the Ministry of Justice. Information on practical measures taken by Georgia over the reporting period and which have direct bearing on the requirements of article 11, is provided below.
58.The Presidential Decree of February 2002, which instructed the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Justice and the Georgian Procurator’s Office to plan measures to give effect to the Presidential initiative to transform Georgia into a “torture-free zone”. In pursuance of the Presidential Decree of February 2002 (see paragraph 15 above) and its plan of action, the Ministry of Internal Affairs is currently taking the following measures:
Organizing staff training and conferences on the inadmissibility of torture and other forms of unlawful treatment;
Establishing a special telephone hotline, and informing the general public of this service through the mass media;
Carrying out unannounced internal departmental inspections of remand prisons in order to expose cases of torture and other forms of unlawful treatment;
Conducting preventive operations in order to identify and take action in cases where detainees are held in remand units in violation of procedural time limits, or when such detainees are found to have bodily injuries;
Holding regular hearings at extended council meetings in the Ministry of Internal Affairs concerning reports by directors of central and local internal affairs agencies and the Ministry’s General Inspectorate on efforts to identify cases of torture and other forms of unlawful treatment, and the action taken in such case;
Forging close links with NGOs, with a view to exposing cases of torture and other forms of unlawful treatment, and taking prompt action to deal with them.
Rights and guarantees of persons deprived of liberty
59.The Ministry of Justice has taken the following steps to implement its plan of action:
A policy outline for root and branch reform of the penitentiary system is being drawn up with a view to creating more humane conditions in places of detention, in accordance with current international standards in the field;
A special monitoring system has been put in place for remand prisoners who present bodily injuries, either upon arrival at a penitentiary or during their stay. In such cases, regardless of the detainee’s own explanation of how the injury was sustained, the relevant case file is sent to a procurator’s office for further action;
The post of specialist physician has been created in the Corrections Department, whose duties include checking the health of any prisoner held in a penitentiary who presents bodily injuries;
An independent public monitoring board has been established within the Ministry, one of whose most important functions is to guard against, identify and prevent violations of human rights, torture and other forms of unlawful treatment. Board members may visit any penitentiary without hindrance and talk with prisoners. In order to facilitate its monitoring duties, the board has been provided with lists of inmates who were held in places of detention in violation of procedural time limits or who presented bodily injuries;
A department to reform and monitor the penitentiary system has been set up in the Ministry, one of whose functions is to draw up recommendations on upholding the rights of convicted prisoners. To this end, departmental officials take regular soundings of the views of the prisoners themselves;
Standing public commissions have been established in penitentiaries, the function of which is to encourage measures to prevent torture and other cruel and inhuman treatment and assist the prison authorities in resolving issues involving living conditions, diet, medical treatment, prison industries and the education of prisoners;
A training programme for prison officers has been developed, with special emphasis on studying the rules for the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty in accordance with existing international standards in this field. The training includes attendance at seminars and courses held at the Ministry’s training centre.
60.According to official data, 39 prisoners died in penitentiaries administered by the Georgian Ministry of Justice in 2002. Of those, 29 died as a result of illness, while the remaining 10 died violent deaths (four suicides, five homicides and one accident). The causes of death of the prisoners who died of illnesses were as follows: nine cases of acute cardiovascular insufficiency; six cases of pulmonary tuberculosis; six cases of acute myocardial infarction; two cases of acute ischaemia; and one case each of cirrhosis of the liver, alimentary dystrophy, acute brain inflammation, arteriosclerotic cardiosclerosis, acute impairment of cerebral circulation, and lung cancer. In the first half of 2003, 23 prisoners died in penitentiaries: 18 died of various illnesses and 5 died violent deaths.
61.As these figures show, the number of deaths in penitentiary institutions rose slightly in 2002 and January-June 2003 as compared with 200l, when 31 inmates died. In 2000, a total of 52 prisoners died. The number of deaths from tuberculosis has declined significantly, with 6 cases in 2002 as against 13 in 2001 and 23 in 2000.
62.Four prisoners committed suicide in 2002. In 2001 there were no suicides, while there were six in 2000. In order to reduce the number of suicides in penitentiary institutions, doctors, psychiatrists and neuropathologists of the Medical Department of the Ministry of Justice conduct on-site consultations with psychologically unstable and unbalanced prisoners. Where necessary, such prisoners receive hospital or outpatient treatment. Penitentiary institutions keep a register of such prisoners, who are under constant observation by the medical staff.
63.Normally, when a prisoner dies, the news is relayed to the duty unit of the Corrections Department of the Ministry of Justice and the relevant procurator’s office, which undertakes the necessary procedural actions as prescribed by law.
64.In 2002, the Medical Department of the Ministry of Justice took a number of steps to improve the standard of medical treatment provided at penitentiaries. Among other things, the Minister of Justice has ratified interim provisions on prison hospitals, as a result of which medical units have finally been made independent of the Corrections Department. Departmental programmes have also been adopted to protect the health of persons at institutions administered by the Corrections Department, as well as programmes to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases at such institutions. An arrangement has been worked out between the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Welfare on transferring responsibility for psychiatric evaluations from prison hospitals to ordinary psychiatric clinics with effect from January 2003.
65.Some practical measures should be noted:
A properly equipped medical unit has been opened at the young offenders’ institution;
A properly equipped medical unit has been opened at adult penitentiary No. 7;
Four wards at the female prisoners’ inpatient unit have been renovated with assistance and financial support from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC);
In order to implement the so-called “directly observed treatment short course (DOTS)” programme, 10 cell-type wards for prisoners suffering from tuberculosis have been renovated. This programme is already being implemented at Rustavi penitentiary.
66.With regard to efforts to prevent the spread of tuberculosis in prisons, the Committee should note that, with assistance from ICRC, a total of 7,081 prisoners were screened for pulmonary tuberculosis in penitentiary institutions in 2001, and 446 of those prisoners received treatment; 8,502 were screened in 2002, and 458 received treatment; 2,468 prisoners were screened in the first half of 2003, and 234 received treatment. All the patients were included in the DOTS programme. The overwhelming majority of the prisoners were transferred to a special tuberculosis unit for treatment, while the rest received treatment at the facility where they were serving their sentence.
67.Medical screening and consultations for sick inmates are carried out regularly at penitentiaries by prison doctors, specialists from the Medical Department of the Ministry of Justice, and representatives of the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Welfare. Thus, in 2002, the Ministry of Justice organized 63 prison visits for commissions from its Medical Department, with the participation of teams of specialist physicians. A total of 2,060 prisoners were screened and received appropriate treatment. During the first half of 2003, the teams screened 596 prisoners.
68.With the assistance of the Georgian national centre to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, convicted and remand prisoners (including those held in the tuberculosis unit and the young offenders’ institution) were screened in order to identify prisoners infected with HIV and those who had AIDS. In 2001, 456 persons were screened; in 2002, 2,066 persons; and in the first half of 2003, 200 persons. Sixteen persons were found to be infected with HIV and were registered accordingly. In January 2003, 11 prisoners with AIDS were under constant observation by staff of the national centre to prevent the spread of AIDS and by prison doctors. At the time of writing (November 2003), eight persons with AIDS are under observation.
69.Special attention is given to the visual screening of remand prisoners who enter penitentiary institutions, for wounds and injuries. When wounds and injuries are found, they are examined by a forensic medical expert licensed by the Medical Department of the Ministry of Justice. In 2002, over 300 cases involving prisoners with various types of physical injuries were discovered upon their transfer to penitentiary institutions. During the first half of 2003, there were 259 such prisoners. Information on the examination of prisoners is transmitted both to the Ministry of Justice and to procuratorial bodies and the prisoners’ lawyers.
70.In January 2003, there were 1,696 patients in prison hospitals. A total of 39,415 prisoners had received outpatient treatment. In the first half of 2003, 22,373 prisoners received outpatient treatment.
71.In 2002, specialists from the Medical Department of the Ministry of Justice devoted particular attention to matters of sanitation and hygiene in the penitentiary system. Thus, inspections were carried out at seven penitentiary institutions, four prisons, a hospital unit for remand and convicted prisoners in Tbilisi and a special unit for tuberculosis patients. The inspections focused on sanitation and hygiene at the establishment and the amenities provided to inmates. A number of irregularities came to light in the course of the inspections, and steps were outlined to remedy them.
72.Thus, disinfection and rat control measures were taken at two colonies and one prison. Vehicles used to transport prisoners are regularly disinfected.
73.It should be noted that, owing to the decline in the overall number of prisoners, expenditure on prison food has increased from 23 to 33 lari per prisoner (about US$ 15). This has made it possible to enrich the food ration and bring its caloric content within the statutorily prescribed range, namely 2,753-2,964 kilocalories.
74.In October 2002, a presidential order approved a plan of measures to reform and develop the penitentiary system of the Ministry of Justice for the period 2002-2007. As the Ministry of Justice has noted, only those aspects of the plan that do not require major financial investment or which are financed from the Ministry’s special fund are being implemented rather successfully. With regard to such aspects of the plan as the preparation of documents for the transition to a prison-based penal correction system (85,000 lari), the completion of the construction of a new prison in the town of Rustavi (approximately 2 million lari) and the improvement of communal services for penitentiary institutions, over the reporting period either insufficient budgetary resources were allocated for such measures, or no resources were allocated at all. This can be explained by the fact that, in recent years, Georgia has been faced with considerable problems in executing the State budget, particularly with regard to income.
Article 12 (Investigation of possible acts of torture)
75.Over the reporting period, cases where there was sufficient reason to believe that torture had been used were investigated in accordance with the legal norms and procedures described in Georgia’s second periodic report on its implementation of the Convention against Torture (paras. 95-99).
76.In the preparation of the present report, the Office of the Procurator and the Ministry of Internal Affairs provided abundant factual materials concerning the identification and investigation of unlawful treatment on the part of law enforcement officers during the period 2000-2003 (see paragraphs 29 and 31 above). As an analysis of information received has shown, in most of those cases criminal proceedings were instituted under article 118 (Knowingly unlawful short-term or pretrial detention), article 332 (Exceeding of authority) and article 333 (Abuse of power) of the Criminal Code. Generally, the victims of ill-treatment are adult males; with very rare exceptions, there have been no reports of the ill-treatment of women and minors. Data provided by the General Inspectorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs indicate only one case, which took place in February 2002, where B.G., a minor, complained of having been physically mishandled by police officers. Although the materials of the case were referred to the Georgian Procurator’s Office, the allegations could not be confirmed. With regard to the ethnic origin of the victims, the materials in question do not give any reason to believe that there were any racially motivated cases of unlawful treatment during the reporting period. Ethnic Georgians accounted for the overwhelming majority of the victims of arbitrary treatment by the police.
77.In the context of article 12, it should be noted that criminal proceedings in all instances of the possible use of torture or other forms of unlawful treatment are instituted and investigated by procuratorial bodies on the basis of the materials submitted by the relevant internal affairs agencies.
78.In its concluding observations on the consideration of Georgia’s second periodic report, the Committee against Torture expressed its concern at “instances of mob violence against religious minorities” and the failure of the police to intervene. The Government of Georgia shares the Committee’s concern and considers it necessary to inform the Committee that, over the reporting period, a number of measures were taken to prohibit and punish acts of violence on religious grounds. Annexed to this report is a document in English entitled “Religious intolerance: its manifestations and measures to overcome it”. The document, which was prepared by the Department for Human Rights and Intellectual and Humanitarian Security of the National Security Council, contains rather detailed information on development and the current status of this problem.
79.In its recommendations, the Committee against Torture drew particular attention to the problems of violence against women and trafficking in women. Georgia wishes to assure the Committee that it is fully aware of the danger of this transnational crime and declares its readiness to combat this phenomenon with all the means at its disposal, in strict observance of the law.
80.On 17 January 2003, the President signed a decree approving a plan of action to combat trafficking for the period 2003-2005. This report contains the English text of the decree, which will enable the Committee to judge to what extent measures envisaged in the Plan of Action is in keeping with its recommendations. In a relatively short period of time, the Government of Georgia has taken a number of practical steps to implement the provisions of the decree. Detailed information concerning the implementation of the decree is contained in Georgia’s combined second and third periodic reports on its implementation of the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which was presented in November 2003 (paras. 60-70).
81.The aforementioned report contains information on measures to eradicate customs that degrade women (para. 59) and sexual violence against women (para. 76).
82.As mentioned above, the Plan of Action against Torture in Georgia includes a special section on the prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and punishment for such practices, the reduction of incidents of torture and the criminal and administrative prosecution and punishment of all persons guilty of such practices, and overcoming of the syndrome of impunity. The special section provides for concrete measures, among which the following should be mentioned:
Development and implementation of a system of coordinated work among the Office of the Procurator, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Justice with a view to identifying acts of torture and other forms of unlawful treatment and ensuring that such acts are dealt with in an appropriate manner (deadline for implementation - December 2003);
Establishment of independent public monitoring councils answering to the Central Internal Affairs Department in Tbilisi and other regional internal affairs offices in Georgia (deadline for implementation - February 2004). The NGOs that actively supported this initiative will be involved in the implementation of this task.
Article 13 (The right to submit complaints)
83.Georgia’s second periodic report contained a description of the criminal procedural norms that govern the right to submit complaints to the competent authorities and the prompt and impartial examination of such complaints by the authorities. The aforementioned norms have, on the whole, remained in force. Attention is drawn to the amendment made to article 242, paragraph 3, of the Code of Criminal Procedure in June 2001. In accordance with this amendment, “a party to proceedings has the right to complain to the court about the acts or decisions by the person conducting the initial inquiry or the investigator - either after the procurator has dismissed the complaint, or directly”.
84.According to the Deprivation of Liberty Act, a convicted person has the right to complain about unlawful acts on the part of the administration of the penitentiary institution, members of the Department and other State institutions (art. 26, para. 1). In such cases, the administration of the penitentiary is prohibited from delaying or examining the statement sent by the convicted person to the court, the Department, counsel or the procurator (art. 26, para. 2).
85.Unfortunately, during the reporting period, no amendments were made to existing legislation relating to the right of an accused person to complain to a judge concerning ill‑treatment during pretrial detention. According to article 416, paragraph 4, of the Code of Criminal Procedure, any applications or complaints may be made directly to the court only after the case has been referred to a court. However, this state of affairs will be corrected in the near future. In accordance with the Plan of Action, the President of Georgia has instructed the Interim Inter-departmental Commission on the drafting of Proposals on Reform of the Security and Law Enforcement Bodies attached to the National Security Council to draft, by the end of December 2003, proposals on the amendment of criminal procedural legislation to include a provision on the right of an accused person to complain to a judge concerning ill-treatment, at any stage of the investigation. In this regard, it should be noted that the Inter-departmental Commission is currently drafting a new Code of Criminal Procedure, which will include the aforementioned provision.
Article 14 (Compensation and rehabilitation)
86.The information contained in the second periodic report on the implementation of this article of the Convention against Torture is still valid. Victims of torture and other forms of unlawful treatment have the right to obtain redress and receive fair and adequate compensation. At the same time, it should be noted that, according to available information, there were no recorded instances of the application of these legal provisions in practice over the reporting period.
87.The final provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure stipulate that a provision whereby court fees will be recovered from the amounts paid to the victim as compensation for damages when State bodies fail to discover a crime, will enter into force on 15 May 2005 (art. 217, para. 2). At that time, article 33, paragraph 4, of the Code, which provides that “in cases where the accused person has gone into hiding and his whereabouts are unknown, or when it has not been possible to identify the person who should be prosecuted, proceedings involving compensation for damages may be brought against the State as a civil action”, will enter into force.
Article 15 (Statements made under torture)
88.Pursuant to the Committee’s recommendation that “all statements obtained by force from detained persons should be investigated and may never be used as evidence”, it should be stressed that article 42, paragraph 7, of the Georgian Constitution stipulates that evidence obtained illegally has no legal force.
89.The provisions of the general constitutional requirement cited above have also been incorporated into the Code of Criminal Procedure. Specifically, article 7 of the Code states that “evidence obtained illegally has no legal force”. Article 10 on the presumption of innocence fully reflects this universally recognized principle, the first time it has been provided for as such in Georgian procedural law. Judicial supervision has been introduced for any procedural actions undertaken by persons conducting initial inquiries, investigators or procurators which involve limitation of citizens’ constitutional rights and freedoms; suspects, accused persons and other parties to proceedings are entitled to appeal to a court if their complaint or application is dismissed by a person conducting an initial inquiry, an investigator or a procurator (art. 15).
90.The Code of Criminal Procedure further states that the confessions of accused persons, if not supported by other evidence, are insufficient to conclude that such persons actually committed the offences. No testimony may be obtained under duress. The use of physical or mental coercion to obtain testimony is prohibited, as blackmail; testimony obtained in this way shall not be admitted (arts. 19 and 119). Any evidence obtained in breach of the statutorily defined procedure, and specifically through the use of violence, threats, blackmail or harassment, is deemed inadmissible and is excluded from the criminal case. Prosecution evidence that has been ruled invalid may, however, be admitted at the application of the defence (art. 111).
91.The adversarial nature of trial proceedings and the equality of the parties ensure that evidence and confessions obtained by unlawful means are detected, that they are recognized as such and are excluded from consideration (article 475 of the Code of Criminal Procedure).
92.The Government of Georgia considers that the aforementioned procedural safeguards are sufficient and has always taken great pains to ensure that they are strictly applied in practice.
93.In the context of the recommendations of the Committee against Torture concerning the practice of interrogating detainees as witnesses, which denies them the right to the assistance of a lawyer, it should be noted that, according to article 305, paragraph 5, of the Code of Criminal Procedure, “at the request of the witness, his or her lawyer may be present during the interrogation”. Thus, it is unlawful to deny a witness of the assistance of a lawyer. It is obvious that this provision makes pointless the practice of knowingly misrepresenting a detainee’s procedural status.
Article 16 (Other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment)
94.With regard to this article of the Convention against Torture, the information on procedural guarantees of protection against cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, which do not fall under the definition of torture, is still valid.
95.It must be noted that conditions for maintaining a material and technical base and the state of that base both in the penitentiary system and in places where persons are held in police custody still fall far below international standards in this area. This was mentioned, inter alia, by the European Council’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture in its report on Georgia. The lamentable state of these institutions is caused by their depreciation and a constant lack of means to cover the relevant budgetary expenditure. As noted above, the Government of Georgia is not turning a blind eye to this problem and is seeking ways of solving it. In particular, the penitentiary institution for women and the young offenders’ institution in general already meet international standards. The specific intentions of the Georgian Government are demonstrated by the adoption of such a document as the Plan of Measures to Reform and Develop the Penal Correction System of the Minister of Justice for the period 2002-2007 and other measures that have been described in the present report.
List of annexes*
1.Presidential Decree approving the Plan of Action against Torture in Georgiafor the period 2003-2005.
2.Presidential Decree on measures to strengthen the protection of human rights in Georgia.
3.Presidential Decree approving the Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking for the period 2003-2005.
4.Presidential Decree approving the Plan of Action for Strengthening Protection of theHuman Rights and Freedoms of Various Population Groups in Georgia for the period 2003‑2005.
5.Document entitled “Religious intolerance: its manifestations and measures toovercome it.”