Public Defender Meets with Chairperson of European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights

On 5 September 2019, as part of her official visit to Brussels, Belgium, the Public Defender of Georgia met with Marie Arena, Member of the European Parliament and Chairperson of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI).

Nino Lomjaria briefed Marie Arena of the mandate and activities of the Public Defender of Georgia; she spoke about the role and importance of the Public Defender as a human rights institution in the country.

In addition, the Public Defender focused on the gravest situation in the occupied territories and border villages and the role and activities of the Public Defender in the conflict regions. It should be noted that last year, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on Georgia - "Georgia's occupied territories 10 years after the Russian intervention." The resolution indicated the gross violations of human rights, such as: freedom of movement, right to property, right to get education in the mother tongue; illegal arrests and kidnappings, etc.

Given the crucial role of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, Nino Lomjaria asked the MEP to consider the possibility of holding a committee hearing in DROI on the human rights situation in the conflict regions. Marie Arena welcomed the idea and promised the Public Defender that she would actively try to implement her initiative.

The MEP also showed interest in the situation of human rights and freedoms in Georgia and the most important challenges facing the country at this stage. The Public Defender provided her with comprehensive information about the mentioned issues. In particular, Nino Lomjaria reviewed the current situation in the judicial system, challenges in the law enforcement system and the need for reforms in these directions, as well as attacks on non-governmental organizations and the Public Defender, dangers to media pluralism, and the population’s low trust in the Court and the Prosecutor's Office.

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