Public Defender Addresses Investigative Agencies with regard to Gaps in Investigation of Crimes Committed on Discriminatory Motives
On 15 August 2018, the Public Defender addressed the Chief Prosecutor of Georgia and the Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia with a general proposal with regard to maintenance of statistics on hate crimes and training of their employees in order to effectively combat hate crimes.
During 2015-2017, the Public Defender has studied more than 50 cases relating to the gaps in the investigation of alleged hate crimes committed on grounds of religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as alleged cases of hate-motivated physical and verbal abuse by law enforcers, on the basis of applications or on his own initiative.
In the general proposal, the Public Defender reviewed the standard of investigation of alleged hate crimes. At the same time, the Public Defender noted that it is essential to identify the motive of hate not only for executing justice in a particular criminal case, but also for preventing similar crimes in the future.
The Public Defender considers that a structural unit responsible for investigating hate crimes should be set up in the existing investigative system and it should be staffed with persons trained in the prevention and effective investigation of crimes motivated by prejudice against vulnerable groups. In addition, it is necessary to develop a proper system of collection of statistics in order to clearly identify existing problems, which will also make it possible to analyze the risk factors of a hate-motivated crime and the circumstances deterring its detection.