Tbilisi: The standard of civil and political rights protection in Georgia has certainly declined. Public Defender Nino Lomjaria remarked during a report presentation at the meeting of the Parliament’s Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee, saying, “In recent years, there has been a tendency to further restrict freedom of expression, unwarranted interference with freedom of assembly, etc.”
According to the Ombudsman, it is a serious matter of concern that journalists, civil activists, and human rights defenders have to work and operate in a hostile and dangerous environment.
“Unfortunately, the number of physical assaults committed against employees of critical news organizations has increased. It has now become a regular practice for political authorities to treat journalists with cynicism, obstructing them from attending events hosted by government organizations and make statements intended toward discrediting them.
Protecting the freedom of expression is directly related to being entitled to right to assembly. The fundamental issue in this regard is that the assembly continues to employ the 1984-adopted code of administrative offences, which is hardly compatible with the current constitutional order. Assemblies were managed and dispersed by law enforcement officials using excessive force, and Nino Lomjaria said that not all arrests were actually justified.
Nino Lomjaria, a Georgian lawyer and the Public defender of Georgia, has always raised her voice in matters regarding the state of women’s rights, gender equality, rights of children
and prison conditions in Georgia.
During her tenure, she has also worked as a critic of the Georgian Dream Government on their hostility towards civil society groups and failure to protect LGBT rights. Her work as Public Defender has received appreciation from civil society organizations.