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Georgian Ombudsman meets representatives of Council of Europe

Tbilisi: On January 30-31 and February 1, Tamar Gvaramadze, Deputy Ombudsman Ekaterine Skhiladze and Giorgi Burjanadze held meetings with representatives of different bodies of the Council of Europe. The purpose of the visit was to provide information to international partners on the human rights situation, and activities carried out and planned by the apparatus.

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Tbilisi: On January 30-31 and February 1, Tamar Gvaramadze, Deputy Ombudsman Ekaterine Skhiladze and Giorgi Burjanadze held meetings with representatives of different bodies of the Council of Europe. The purpose of the visit was to provide information to international partners on the human rights situation, and activities carried out and planned by the apparatus.

 The main issues of discussion at the meetings were the implementation of the 12 preconditions set for Georgia for EU candidate membership from a human rights perspective; also, the issues of protection of freedom of expression, freedom of journalists and media, protection of human rights in the penitentiary system and imprisonment conditions of the third president of Georgia, the legal situation on rhetorics, socio-economic rights, equality issues, voting rights and the issues of participatory democracy in Georgia, challenges to human rights by human rights activists and local governments, and more.

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 At the meetings with partners, there was also of special interest the functioning of the Public Defender apparatus at this stage and the legislative framework in this regard.

 Meetings were held with representatives of the Office of the General Secretariat of the Council of Europe, the Heads of the Department of Media and Internet and Cooperation on Freedom of Expression, Advisers to the Commission for Human Rights of the European Council, the Anti-discrimination Department, as well as the Head of the Department of Elections and Participatory Democracy, local governments With the head of the Congressional Cooperation and Foreign Relations Department.

 During the meeting with the Head of the European Social Card Department and other representatives, alternative reports prepared by the Georgian Public Ombudsman apparatus were positively assessed, and prospects for the active continuation of future cooperation with the Apparatus Committee were discussed.

 During the meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe with the Rapporteur on Georgia and the Deputy Head of the Assembly Monitoring Department, the issue of implementation of human rights obligation to Georgia was discussed.

 The meeting was held with the head of the Directorate of Program Assistance Coordination of the Council of Europe, which was also attended by the current and former heads of the Georgian Office of the Council of European Council.

 They discussed the implementation of the European Council Strategy and Action Plan, along with the future planning stages and the possibility of engaging and supporting the Public Ombudsman in this process. We emphasized the need for the participation of representatives of civil society in this process.

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 Also, during the visit, a meeting was held with Mrs Tamar Taliashvili, the Permanent Representative of Georgia in the Council of Europe. The meeting laid special focus on further development opportunities of the Public Defender Apparatus in the protection of basic human rights in the Georgian-occupied territories.

 The Public Ombudsman of Georgia continues its active cooperation with various bodies of the Council of Europe for better protection of human rights in the country and for maximum effective use of its mandate.

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