According to the statement of the Member of the Parliamentary Majority, Eka Beselia, the critique towards the Government of Georgia is inappropriate because all of the reforms implemented by the government and its political course are endorsed in the assessments published by various international organisations.FactCheck
took interest in Ms Beselia’s statement and verified its accuracy.Assessments of the European Union The 27 March 2014 Resolution
of the European Union positively assesses the 2013 Presidential Elections in Georgia. It points out that the Presidential Elections were characterised by a less tense and polarised elections environment.
It also says that there have been positive signs and careful steps in the process of cooperation with the separatist regions since the new government assumed office. However, despite the fact that Georgia has continued the implementation of the inclusion strategy, there have been no amendments to the restrictive provision of the Law on Occupied Territories for its smoother implementation.Another positive aspect of the Resolution of the European Union is the dialogue which has started between Georgia and Russia. The document also points out that Georgia has taken significant steps towards the transparency of the court system by adopting new laws. The number of prisoners in the country has decreased and the conditions in prisons have improved. In addition, in terms of its Eastern Partnership Programme, the European Union has proposed
maintaining the system of checks and balances between the main branches of the Government of Georgia, eliminating the flaws in the elections system of Georgia, commencing criminal proceedings transparently and free of political motivation and using the pre-trial detention only as a special measure (pages 4-5).
The EU negatively assessed the politically motivated mass dismissal of employees from the ministries and the local governments.
The EU also had doubts about the bill on telecommunications surveillance which it believed did not contain preventative measures against the abuse of power.In the November 2014 Resolution
of the Committee of Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament, the EU welcomes, on the one hand, the reforms of the Government of Georgia aimed to build stable, independent and democratic institutions. On the other hand, however, it calls upon the government to implement an effective mechanism of checks and balances between the various branches of the government in order to strengthen the rule of law and effective governance.
The EU once again called upon the Government of Georgia to commence proceedings against high-ranking officials of the previous government completely free of political motives.On 25 March 2015 the EU presented an annual Report
on the Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy. The implementation of an effective mechanism of checks and balances between the branches of the government and the transparency of the court system still remain among the top demands of the European Union. Unlike the previous Report, the EU demands that Georgia improve the political climate in the country and provide the opposition with an appropriate political space.The 17 November 2014 statement
of the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security, Federica Mogherini, is also of high importance in this context. As Ms Mogherini pointed out, Georgia has impressive achievements in the field of the country’s democratic development; however, she also added that it must heed the recommendation of the OSCE on the improvement of the elections legislature and take appropriate steps before the next elections. In addition, Ms Mogherini underscored the importance of the improvement of the political climate of the country and the avoidance of political retribution and polarisation as well as the provision of an appropriate space for the opposition and a dialogue between political parties.Assessment of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe In its 1 October 2014 Resolution
on Georgia, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe welcomed the wish of the Government of Georgia to conduct large-scale constitutional and judicial reforms in order to improve democratic institutions.
In addition, however, the Council of Europe negatively assessed the facts of the dismissal of the candidates following the pressure on the opposition forces during the Local Government Elections which goes against the core human rights principles of the Council of Europe. The Parliamentary Assembly also called upon the Government of Georgia to avoid political persecution and revengeful actions stating that the arrests of the representatives of the previous government of the country carry the signs of selective justice.United Nations Human Rights Committee
The 23 July 2014 Summary Report adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Committee outlines both positive and negative trends in the field of legislature. The Committee welcomed the steps taken in the field of human rights protection such as the adoption of the 2014-2020 Human Rights National Strategy and the 2014-2015 Human Rights Protection Action Plan. The Committee also positively assessed the 4 February 2014 decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia which determined the articles of the 5 December 2000 and 27 September 2007 Directives of the Minister of Health, Labour and Social Affairs of Georgia, banning homosexuals from donating blood, to be unconstitutional.
In addition, the United Nations Human Rights Committee calls upon the Government of Georgia to investigate the crimes committed in the past in such a manner that it does not turn into political retribution and against the representatives of the previous government and the opposition leaders. Additionally, Georgia must guarantee that the victims of violence receive appropriate legal assistance and compensation.Assessment of the OSCE The 9 February 2014 Report of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) speaks
about the flaws revealed in the court system of Georgia as a result of the observations of trials. Specifically, the monitoring of the criminal proceedings against the high-ranking officials of the previous government found several facts which violated the principle of just courts.
The OSCE Report does not use the term "selective justice;" however, upon numerous occasions it expresses doubts about the independence of the court decisions on the criminal proceedings against the high-ranking officials of the previous government.It should be pointed out that the country’s Western partners not only praise the Government of Georgia for its achievements but also point to the worsened political climate and the risks of politicised prosecution. FactCheck wrote
about this issue earlier as well.
Our study found that the international reports do indeed praise some reforms of the Government of Georgia. However, the implementation of effective mechanisms of checks and balances between the branches of the government and the transparency of the court system still remain among the problems. The reports of international organisations also point to the polarised political environment, worsened political climate, the threats of politically motivated courts and selective justice.FactCheck concludes that Eka Beselia’s statement is MOSTLY FALSE.