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CoE Discusses Implementation by Georgia of ECHR Judgments, Identifies Problems

At its meeting on December 5-7, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe discussed the implementation of ECHR judgments by member states, including Georgia. The Committee published the European Court of Human Rights latest case-by-case decisions, including Georgian cases related to violence against LGBTI persons and domestic violence, as well as on two interstate cases Georgia v. Russia.

In the case of Identoba and others v. Georgia, the Committee of Ministers expressed concern about the failure of State authorities to protect against homophobic or religiously motivated attacks, and in some cases official connivance and acquiescence in such acts, as well as police abuse with homophobic/transphobic bias. The Committee called for criminal liability for perpetrators, a zero-tolerance approach to hate-motivated violence, and the prioritization of the LGBTI community’s right to peaceful assembly. The Committee took note of consultations to improve the capacity of the police to investigate hate crimes.

The Committee “noted with regret that the adopted National Strategy for the Protection of Human Rights for 2022-2030 does not address adequately the needs of the LGBTI community and called upon the authorities to speed up the work of the implementing Action Plan and to effectively involve all the relevant stakeholders in the process to ensure that this document sets out comprehensive, inclusive and far-reaching measures to properly address the needs of the LGBTI people and religious minorities”.

The Committee “strongly called upon the authorities to demonstrate that enabling the LGBTI community to fully enjoy their right to peaceful assemblies is a clear priority through adopting concerted and effective organizational and preventive measures by the police to ensure safe conduct of the relevant gatherings.”

In the case of Tkhelidze v. Georgia, the Committee of Ministers addressed the states failure to protect women from domestic violence and the inadequate investigation into law enforcement authorities’. The Committee emphasized the urgency of prompt and thorough action to establish state responsibility in gender-based violence cases. While acknowledging legislative efforts against domestic violence, concerns were raised about femicide rates. The Committee urged independent, thorough investigations and highlighted insufficient redress in specific cases. It commended preventive measures like risk assessment tools but called for increased efforts to ensure their effective application.

Regarding the Georgia v. Russia (I) case involving violations in the arrest, detention, and expulsion of Georgian nationals in 2006-2007, the Committee deplored Russia’s lack of response and the failure to make the required payment of €11.9 million for just satisfaction and accrued interest. The Committee strongly urged compliance and underscored the ongoing accrual of default interest.

The Committee of Ministers has also examined the interstate Georgia v. Russia (II) case, related to the war between Georgia and the Russian Federation in August 2008, the European Court held in April 2023 that Russia was to pay the Georgian government over €129 million within three months. In an Interim Resolution* adopted, the Committee of Ministers noted that no payment has been made and the total amount owed by the Russian Federation, including interest accrued, stands at some €133.4 million. The Committee of Ministers again urged the Russian authorities to pay the sum without delay. It firmly reiterated its profound concern about the inability of Georgian nationals to return to their homes in Georgia’s occupied regions Tskhinvali and Abkhazia and its insistence that the Russian Federation, which has effective control over these regions, ensures without delay measures to prevent kidnapping, killing, torture or any other incident which impedes the free and safe movement of Georgian nationals and ensures the safe return of persons wishing to return to their homes.

Source: Civil