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Ambassadors of The United States, Great Britain and France Meet the Representatives of Human Rights NGOs
[11.03.2010]
On March 10th, the British, French and US Ambassadors met with the representatives of the “Human Rights Center” (HRIDC), the “Georgian Young Lawyers Association” and “Multinational Georgia.” The aim of the meeting was to discuss the situation of human rights defenders in Georgia.

“We talked about the working environment of human rights defenders in Georgia. We also referred to concrete cases when the concerns raised by human rights defenders about pressure and harassment applied against them or their colleagues are not effectively investigated by the state, or when the state officials are themselves reported to be directly and openly involved in intimidation and harassment of defenders and journalists. In this regard amongst others we discussed the case of Vakhtang Komakhidze. We also spoke about an alarming tendency of using some media outlets as a tool to manipulate public opinion and discredit human rights defenders in the public eye, which we are very concerned about” – said Ana Natsvlishvili, coordinator of the South Caucasus Network of Human Rights Defenders.

French Ambassador, Mr. Eric Fournier was particularly interested to get familiarized with the data and documentation presented by the human rights NGOs.

Mr. John R. Bass, the US ambassador said: “It’s important for us to hear from a wide set of perspectives about the development of democracy and promotion and protection of human rights in Georgia. And that is an important component of Georgia’s democratic development and its ability to realize its aspirations of membership before the range of Euro-Atlantic institutions. So, for us to be effective in helping Georgia to realize these aspirations, we need to understand what the real circumstances are and in order to do that, we need to talk with people who are working on these issues every day and working very hard to advance the respect and promotion of human rights in Georgia”.

Ambassadors underlined the importance of the work human rights defenders do and wished them success in their activities. “We want Georgia to develop and human rights defenders play the core role in this process”, - said Mr. Denis Keefe, the British Ambassador to Georgia.

The meeting was organized by the Human Rights Center, coordinator of the South Caucasus network of Human Rights Defenders. The South Caucasus Network of Human Rights Defenders unites 30 human rights NGOs in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. The Network seeks to facilitate creation of a safer and enabling environment for human rights defenders in the South Caucasus and to strengthen their voices in the region and internationally. Creation of the Network is financially supported by the European Union.
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