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The Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association Responds to Eviction of IDPs from the Hotel Abkhaza

  Eviction of IDPs from the building that formerly housed the hotel Abkhazia was finished on August 15. The Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) believes that there were no legal grounds for eviction of some of the IDPs living in the noted building, as by the time of the eviction they had not yet agreed to offers of the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia. As GYLA has noted a number of times in its statements released earlier, the Law of Georgia on the Internally Displaced Persons categorically prohibits forceful eviction of IDPs from a compact settlement before restoration of the jurisdiction on corresponding territory of Georgia, until corresponding decision is delivered by court. Under the Georgian legislation, the police should have immediately terminated eviction procedures upon submission of an IDP card (certifying lawful ownership).

2011-08-15 17:13 See more

GYLA Addresses Court regarding supposed Eviction of IDPs from the Hotel Abkhazia

On August 10, 2011 at 10:30 a.m., press-conference on issues related to eviction of IDPs was held at the Georgian Young Lawyers' Association. On August 5, 2011, the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia provided IDPs living in the Hotel Abkhazia, Tbilisi with individual notices stating that their eviction from the hotel was expected to occur on August 15. It is noteworthy that the building has a status of a compact settlement object where internally displaced persons have been registered and living in since 1991. Under the ordinance of the Minister of Interior Affairs of Georgia N747, dated May 24, 2007, upon submission of an IDP card (certifying lawful ownership), the police shall terminate the procedures for eviction of IDPs from the compact settlement. It should also be noted that in similar cases the law of Georgia on Internally Displaced Persons categorically prohibits eviction of IDPs from a compact settlement until the jurisdiction is restored on the corresponding territory. Furthermore, under the law, issues related to housing solutions shall be settled by court. Considering that offers laid out in individual notices by the Ministry is unacceptable to IDPs living in the Hotel Abkhazia and the dispute has not been brought before court, the GYLA believes that the police is not authorized for the eviction.

2011-08-10 08:31 See more

Discussion about State Liabilities Produced by the Failure to Complete Cooperative Apartment Constructions

Under the initiative of the Foundation for Promotion of Legal Education within the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association, discussion about “state obligations produced by failure to complete cooperative apartment constructions” was held on July 29, at 19:00. Within the working format, the participants discussed legal problems related to mechanisms for compensation of state’s liabilities to cooperative apartment constructors, their development and effective implementation. The discussions sought to promote ways for solution of the problem that originated back in 1998 when the state recognized its liabilities produced by failure to complete apartment constructions as an internal debt. Under order N835 adopted by the Government of Georgia on the November 11, 2009, Tbilisi City Hall is responsible for paying off the liabilities. However, up to 4,000 citizens of Georgia are still hopelessly waiting to receive their due compensation. Representatives of GYLA – head of the Legal Assistance Center Kakha Kozhoridze and strategic litigation lawyer Tamta Mikeladze briefed about the problem. Representatives of the Parliament of Georgia, the Ministry of Finance of Georgia, Tbilisi Sakrebulo and Tbilisi City Hall were invited to attend the discussion, together with experts. The discussion was also attended by representatives of the injured party. Representatives of the authority did not attend the discussion.  

2011-08-01 07:06 See more

Statement of the Coalition for Media Advocacy

The Coalition for Media Advocacy chaired by the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association and composed of ten more NGOs, applied to Prime Minister of Georgia Nika Gilauri, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Vera Kobalia and the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) with a statement. The Coalition demands immediate termination of an ongoing online auction announced by the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development for outsourcing management of state-owned Alfa-Com Ltd. (ID №203829250) for the period of four years. Alfa Com Ltd. was established on the basis of Georgian TeleRadioCenter Ltd. and is its legal successor. The company exploits total of 36 towers throughout the country, including Tbilisi broadcasting tower that transfers TV, radio, telephone or other communication signals and provides service to more than 30 radios and 16 TV companies.

2011-08-01 06:49 See more

GYLA Files in the Constitutional Court against Classification of Duration of Telephone Tapping as Secret

Today, the Georgian Young Lawyers' Association filed against paragraph 2, Article 10 of the Law of Georgia on Operative and Investigative Activities which regulates telephone tapping by law enforcement authorities. Although the law regulates telephone tapping, it fails to define duration of the measure. Duration is regulated by a departmental normative act of an agency, which in its turn is classified as secret. Therefore, duration of authorization of law enforcement officers for telephone tapping is unknown for public, whereas general terms of duration provided for by para. 2 of Article 10 of the Law of Georgia on Operational and Investigative Activities do not give an opportunity to identify whether telephone communications of a person concerned are intercepted. GYLA believes that classification of duration of the operative and investigative activities as secret violates the right to privacy and personal communication envisaged by Articles 16, 20 and 41 of the Constitution of Georgia.

2011-07-27 09:43 See more

GYLA Applies to the Ministry of Interior Affairs of Georgia and the Ministry of the Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia

The Georgian Young Lawyers' Association has learned that on July 12, 2011, based on the application of the director of Park Place JSC, the police started evition of IDPs from the building located at 80 Chavchavadze Ave (former Hotel Vake) in Tbilisi. It should be noted that the building has the status of a compact settlement place and internally displace persons registered in the building have been living there since 1991. Under the Interior Minister's N747 ordinance dated May 24, 2007, upon submission of an IDP card (certifying lawful ownership), the police has to stop procedures for eviction of IDPs from places of compact settlement. With GYLA's assistance, IDPs applied to the Ministry of Interior Affairs; however, we are still unaware of measures undertaken in response to the application.  Furthermore, it should be considered that at the same time, under the Standard Operational Procedures (SOP) for Vacating Buildings/Relocating IDPs for the Purpose of Providing IDPs with Durable Housing Solutions, the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia (MRA) delivered individual notices to IDPs that listed July 25 as an estimated eviction date. 

2011-07-22 13:17 See more

Statement of the Coalition for Media Advocacy

The Coalition for Media Advocacy is addressing to Chief Prosecutor of Georgia Murtaz Zodelava, Minister of Interior Affairs Vano Merabishvili and Secretary of Securitry Council Giga Bokeria with an official appeal to declassify the photojournalists’ case. The photojournalists, Zurab Kurtsikidze (European Photo Agency representative), Giorgi Abdaladze (a photograph of the Ministry of Foreign affairs of Georgia) and Irakli Gedenidze (a photograph of the press service of the president’s administration) were arrested by the Interior Ministry’s department of counter intelligence. The Coalition for Media Advocacy is demanding to be provided with an official written response on whether the case of the arrested photojournalists entirely constitutes information designated as state secret or whether only parts of the case have been classified. Furthermore, the Coalition is demanding to be informed about level and duration of the classification and identify of officials that have authorized classification of the case.

2011-07-21 09:55 See more

GYLA's Statement on Results of Examination Carried out by MIA's General Inspection about Violations Committed during the Dispersal of the May 26 Rally

On July 15, 2011, the Ministry of Interior Affairs of Georgia released a statement saying that based on the footage disseminated by media outlets, the office of the prosecutor, statements of the public defender and NGOs, it carried out the examination of disciplinary violations committed by employees of the MIA during the dispersal of the May 26, 2011 rally and punished 16 employees, including by dismissing 4 employees of the Interior Ministry.  With regards to the noted statement, GYLA believes that the Interior Ministry's response to information disseminated by media outlets, as well as statements of NGOs and the public defender is important for government accountability and prevention of any future offences by employees of the Interior Ministry. However, GYLA believes that the information released by the Ministry fails to reveal specific criminal offences that noted individuals were held liable for or positions that they were holding. The statement says nothing about whether the MIA officers that were involved in the process of planning the May 26 rally dispersal and were personally responsible for carrying out the operation were punished. 

2011-07-20 12:48 See more

The Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association for Effective Protection and Promotion of Basic Labor Rights in Georgia

From December 20, 2010 to December 2011 GYLA has been implementing the EU-funded new project the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association for Effective Protection and Promotion of Basic Labor Rights in Georgia. The project covers Tbilisi and seven regions of Georgia, where GYLA’s regional offices are located – Kutaisi, Adjara, Gori, Rustavi, Telavi, Ozurgeti and Dusheti. The project is implemented on the basis of the GYLA’s strategic approach that incorporates improvement of civil rights practice in the country by means of combination of three components: ensuring effective legislation, responding to and preventing individual civil rights violations and raising legal awareness of public. Based on the noted strategy, the project has three main strands: 1. In order to improve applicable labor laws and harmonize them with the European standards, GYLA, with assistance of its parliamentary secretary and in cooperation with corresponding state agencies and other NGOs, will prepare and lobby legal drafts in the parliament.

2011-07-18 14:22 See more

Statement of the Georgian Coalition for the International Criminal Court on the International Justice Day

On the International Day of Justice, celebrated on July 17 worldwide, the Georgian Coalition for the International Criminal Court composed of the following NGOs - the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association, the Human Rights Centre, Human Rights Priority, the union ‘Article 42 of the Constitution’, the Centre for the Protection of Constitutional Rights, the International Center on Conflict and Negotiation - addresses and once more calls for the governments of the Russian Federation and Georgia to effectively investigate crimes committed during the August 2008 war. In the August 2008 war mass and gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law occured, including signs of ethnic cleansing against ethnic Georgians, premeditated killings of civilians were committed, facts of disappearance, mass destruction of personal property, forceful banishment, unlawful arrests, captivity, torture and inhumane treatment occurred on both sides of the conflict.   A number of persons affected by the August war applied to the investigative agencies of Georgia and the Russian Federation, seeking investigation into the crimes committed against them. Corresponding official agencies on both sides declare that investigation of war crimes is ongoing but as of now, there are no signs of progress or considerable efforts for the purpose of ensuring effective investigation on part of either of the conflict sides. Furthermore, it should be noted that specifics of investigation of war crimes in Russia and Georgia differ to a certain extent.

2011-07-18 13:19 See more