Geneve

Discrimination against Religious Minorities in Georgia Discussed at the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva

On July 7-14, 2014, Mr. Levon Isakhanyan, on behalf of the Apostolic Administration of Roman Catholic of South Caucasus, the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Holy Church in Georgia, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Georgia, and the Evangelical Baptist Churches in Georgia, participated in a UN Human Rights Committee session in Geneva, Switzerland. At its 111th Session, the Committee considered a report on the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in Georgia, which is available on the Committee’s website. Mr. Isakhanyan also presented information concerning religious minorities in Georgia and talked about documented cases of discrimination missing from the Georgian State Report (click to watch the video).

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Nils

Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner: «it is clear the process of property restitution as it has taken place up until now has been marked by injustices and unfairness towards minority religious communities»

In response to the question concerning discrimination in the field of restitution of property confiscated from religious communities during the Soviet era, the COE Human Rights Commissioner mentioned that he discussed this issue with various religious organizations, NGOs, and the Georgian authorities. The Commissioner stressed that “it is clear the process of property restitution as it has taken place up until now has been marked by injustices and unfairness towards minority religious communities. I have learned that there is an ongoing process of discussion between the various religious groups and the Government on the restitution of property, and some progress has been made, for example, recently a Synagogue and a Lutheran church were restored to their congregations. Clearly much more needs to be done and it is clear that there are many churches that belonged to the Armenian Church that have not yet been restituted. I also receive reports that many of these buildings are cultural monuments that are on an advanced state of disrepair and that they should be protected as cultural monuments for all of Georgia. I was assured by the authorities that these issues are being addressed, I would like to see faster progress”.

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Ombudsman1

Ombudsman informed about violation of rights of the Armenian minority of Georgia

On May 28, 2014, Public Defender (Ombudsman) of Georgia presented the 2013 Parliamentary Report on the Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms in Georgia to representatives of civil society and diplomatic missions accredited in Georgia. Public Defender highlighted tendencies and priorities in the field of human rights covered in the 2013 Report and provided a brief overview of series of major recommendations for various branches of government.

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Navi

UN Human Rights High Commissioner Unhappy About Selective Approach towards Religious Minorities in Georgia

On May 18-22, 2014 the United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner, Navi Pillay, visited Georgia. During her visit she met the President, Prime Minister, and Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Justice, Internal Affairs, among others. The aim of the High Commissioner’s visit was to discuss the human rights situation in Georgia. On May 21 Levon Isakhanyan, the Head of the Legal Department of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, informed the Commissioner about the discrimination in the field of restitution of property confiscated from religious minorities during the Soviet era. In response the Commissioner stressed that she was very unhappy about the selective approach towards religious minorities in Georgia and urged authorities to honor their international obligations. She further stressed the importance of implementing the anti-discriminatory provisions which exist in the Georgian Constitution.

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Lori Ardzagank

Pilgrimage to Akhtala, Haghpat, Sanahin, Odzun

On May 4, 2014 the “Hayartun” Cultural, Educational and Youth Center organized a pilgrimage to the Armenian medieval monasteries in the Lori region of the Republic of Armenia. Armenian, Georgian, Russian, Ukrainian, and Kazakh pilgrims, from 6 to 70 years old, in total 130 people participated in the pilgrimage.

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IMG 5301

Training Course "Human Rights through my Eyes"

"Educational and Cultural Bridges" NGO, together with its 6 international partners have implemented International Training course "Human Rights through my eyes", which took place Yerevan, Armenia on 3-11 March 2014. Young leaders from 7 countries: Armenia, Georgia, France, Latvia, Moldova, Spain, and Germany participated in the project.

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inauguracia 1

Inauguration of the newly elected President

On 17 November 2013 the inauguration of the newly elected President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili took place. The Head of the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Holy Church in Georgia, His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan was invited to take part in the ceremony.

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