University of Minnesota

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture, Georgia, U.N. Doc. A/52/44, paras. 111-121 (1996).



Convention Abbreviation: CAT


Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture

F. Georgia

111. The Committee considered the initial report of Georgia (CAT/C/28/Add.1) at its 278th and 279th meetings, held on 21 November 1996 (see CAT/C/SR.278 and 279), and adopted the following conclusions and recommendations.

1. Introduction
112. The initial report of Georgia, dated 4 June 1996, was due
on 24 November 1995, but the situation of insecurity in Georgia since 1992 may explain the late submission of the report.

113. The initial report generally follows the Committee's guidelines satisfactorily, except in one respect: it was not accompanied by a core report, as the Committee's reporting guidelines require.

114. The Committee thanks the delegation of Georgia for its introductory remarks and for its constructive dialogue with the Committee.

2. Positive aspects
115. Georgia is one of the States parties that have not expressed a reservation on article 20 of the Convention.

116. The Committee notes with satisfaction the policy of the Government aimed at instituting structural reforms to reflect the provisions of the Convention. This policy is reflected in the new Constitution; in the draft presidential decree on urgent measures for the halting of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; and in the creation of the Committee for Human Rights and Relations Between the Peoples, as well as of a constitutional court, a public defender and an ombudsman.

117. The Committee also considers important the willingness of the representatives of Georgia to acknowledge that, despite the reforms referred to above, torture and ill-treatment occur in places of detention and elsewhere. Acknowledgement is a step, but only the first step, towards resolving the problem.

118. The Committee further considers important the openness of the Government, as reflected in its cooperative activities with recognized international human rights bodies.

3. Factors and difficulties impeding the application of the provisions of the Convention

119. The Committee acknowledges the following:

(a) The political and economic conditions of the country have proved impediments to reform;

(b) The bureaucracy lacks the will to embrace the constitutional and legal reforms robustly;

(c) The independence of the judiciary is not as obvious as it should be;

(d) There is a clear disjunction between the legal rules of protection and their implementation;

(e) The international human rights instruments, including the Convention against Torture, are not available in the Georgian language.

4. Subjects of concern
120. The Committee is concerned about the following:

(a) The volume of complaints of torture, particularly related to the
extraction of confessions;

(b) The failure to investigate claims of torture promptly and to prosecute alleged offenders;

(c) The current failure to make proper provision for compensation, restitution and rehabilitation of victims of torture;

(d) The grossly inadequate conditions in places of detention, including prisons;

(e) The alarming number of deaths in prison;

(f) Internal exile, which may amount to a breach of article 16 of the Convention;

(g) The unwillingness of many law enforcement officers to respect, in the exercise of their duties, the rights of persons under investigation and prisoners;

(h) The existing procedures for the investigation of complaints of torture and ill-treatment, which are not demonstrably impartial;

(i) The absence of proper guidelines for the taking of statements from persons under arrest and of firm criteria for their evidential evaluation.

5. Recommendations
121. The Committee recommends to the State party that:

(a) A core document, providing general information on the State party, such as the land and the people, be prepared and forwarded to the Committee;

(b) The Presidential Decree on urgent measures for the halting of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment be implemented as soon as possible;

(c) The definition of torture contained in article 1 of the Convention be specifically incorporated in the Georgian Code of Criminal Law;

(d) Incommunicado detention be abolished;

(e) Rigorous educational programmes for the police, prison officers, doctors, prosecutors and judges be implemented to ensure that each group understands its constitutional role and its obligations under the Convention;

(f) Resources be made available to improve prison conditions as a matter of urgency, including the provision of appropriate medical facilities;

(g) A monitoring body with comprehensively defined authority be established to keep under constant review the conditions in which investigations are conducted and persons are held in custody;

(h) The powers of the Committee for Human Rights and Relations Between the Peoples or another such body, as appropriate, be strengthened to ensure the prompt examination of complaints of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees and prisoners and the prosecution without fail of those responsible for such acts;

(i) The prison service be removed from the control of the Ministry of the Interior and transferred to the Ministry of Justice or an independent ministry of corrections;

(j) Information be provided to the Committee regarding all the individual cases referred to during the dialogue and other such cases referred to it by non-governmental organizations.



Home || Treaties || Search || Links