Georgia

Aid groups in Georgia condemn attack on human rights office

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News and Press Release
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A consortium of aid groups working in Georgia has issued a letter to Georgian authorities, condemning the July 10 bloody attack on The Liberty Institute, a local human rights group based in Tblisi. See below to read the content of the letter.
The director of the group and several other staff members were beaten and seriously wounded during the raid. The assailants have not been identified.

The Liberty Institute has been a vocal opponent of religious mob violence in Georgia and has accused authorities of instigating religious intolerance.

On July 12, Human Rights Watch demanded that the Georgian government investigate and prosecute those responsible for the attack.

Read also the Human Rights Watch Report: "Vicious" Assault on Rights Leaders.

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We are writing to express our deep concern regarding the 10th July 2002 attack on the Liberty Institute, which look place with apparent impunity. It is extremely difficult for civic organizations, including NGOs, to carry out effective operations in Georgia in a climate of insecurity.

We express our abhorrence of any and all forms of violence against Georgia's democratic processes and remain committed to supporting the development of Georgian Civil Society. We condemn all intimidation and violent efforts to suppress freedom of speech and political thought and urge the government of Georgia to ensure that those people who were responsible for this attack be identified and swiftly brought to Justice in accordance with the rule of law.

We, the undersigned wish to express our firm support of civic organizations who promote democratic processes, social justice and tolerance and equitable economic development in Georgia.

Signed:

ACDI/VOCA
ACH
ADRA
CARE International
Counterpart International
Eurasia Foundation
IRC
Mercy Corps
NRC
Save the Children Federation
World Vision International
CC: State Minister Jorbenadze, State Ministry, Tbilisi.

Additional information

Media relations:
Edward Bligh (New York, HQ) (212) 551-3114
ebligh@theIRC.org
Melissa Winkler (New York, HQ) (212) 551-0972
melissa@theirc.org
Program activities:
Sarah Covington (New York, HQ) (212) 551-0968
sarahc@theirc.org