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PACE monitors react to recent developments in Georgia

Strasbourg, 24.05.2013 – Michael Aastrup Jensen (Denmark, ALDE) and Boriss Cilevičs (Latvia, SOC), the co-rapporteurs for the monitoring of Georgia by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), have called on the Georgian authorities to ensure that the legal proceedings against former Prime Minister Merabishvili and former Healthcare Minister Tchiaberashvili are conducted transparently and in a way which fully respects Georgia’s obligations under Articles 5 and 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. “It is important that any perception of partiality or political motivation in these processes is avoided,” the two co-rapporteurs underlined.

In addition, they strongly condemned the homophobic violence that erupted in Tbilisi on 17 May on the occasion of a rally marking the International Day Against Homophobia. “Such violence and blatant intolerance have no place in a democratic society. We especially regret the participation of members of the clergy in this violence, given the high moral authority the Georgian Orthodox Church enjoys in Georgian society. We expect that the Georgian authorities will prosecute all perpetrators of this unacceptable violence in full compliance with the law,” said the two rapporteurs. In that respect they welcomed the statement by the Georgian Prime Minister that there will be no impunity for the perpetrators of violence on 17 May, whether they belong to the clergy or not.

The co-rapporteurs will follow these developments closely in the framework of the ongoing monitoring procedure for Georgia.