The Heinrich Böll Foundation (HBF) and the Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group (WISG) reported two physical assaults, one consisting of an attack by a group on a gay couple and the second involving the use of a weapon to stab a transgender sex worker, leaving the victim with serious injuries. The HBF reported four additional physical assaults on gay men; two incidents of threats, one of which targeted an LGBT rights organization; and an arson attack against the offices of the same organization.
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Report Data - Georgia - 2015
The Chief Prosecutor's Office of Georgia has continued implementing the Prosecutors and Hate Crime Training (PAHCT) programme, based on an MoU signed with ODIHR in 2016. Four trainings on the effective investigation of hate crimes were conducted for 65 prosecutors and investigators of the prosecution service.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs set up a Human Rights Protection and Investigation Quality Monitoring Department. It aims to ensure a timely response on hate crime incidents and the efficient investigation of such crimes. The Ministry of Internal Affairs has also developed methodological guidelines on hate crime investigation, which are now being operationalized. Furthermore, a training course on "discrimination-based" crimes was developed and delivered to 50 investigators.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs, Chief Prosecutor's Office and the Supreme Court of Georgia collect and process statistical data in line with their internal guidelines. The implementation of a methodology on collecting statistical data on hate crimes is planned for 2020, in co-operation with the Council of Europe.
The Analytical Center for Interethnic Cooperation and Consultations (ACICC) reported an incident in which local Christian and Muslim communities clashed over ownership of a disputed building, resulting in injuries to three members of the Muslim community.
The Heinrich Böll Foundation (HBF), Jehovah's Witnesses – Georgia and the Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC) reported one physical assault on Jehovah's Witnesses carried out by a group. The HBF and the EMC reported an additional physical assault that involved damage to property; and two threats. The HBF, the EMC and the UNHCR reported two incidents of damage to property targeting Jehovah Witnesses’ places of worship.
Jehovah's Witnesses – Georgia reported 11 physical assaults, including one in which stones were thrown at the victims; two threats; two burglaries; seven cases of damage to property; and three incidents of vandalism.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported 11 incidents of physical assault; 16 incidents of damage to property; and four incidents of thefts. All 11 incidents targeted Jehovah's Witnesses.
Following its Universal Periodic Review (UPR), the Georgian authorities supported recommendations to address hate crimes motivated by bias related to sexual orientation or gender identity and to develop training programmes on hate crimes for police and judges, which the authorities consider already implemented or in the process of implementation. The Georgian authorities made the commitment to examine and respond to recommendations to establish a specialized police unit for investigating hate crimes and to increase the powers of the public defender's office.
In its fourth report on Georgia, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) recommended the creation of a unified hate crime database, the creation of a police unit specialized in hate crime, and that training programmes for law enforcement officials and the judiciary be augmented and include information on hate crime against LGBT people. ECRI also called for the effective investigation and prosecution of all hate crime cases, notably hate crimes against Muslims.
In its "Concluding observations on the sixth to eighth periodic reports of Georgia", the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) recommended that all hate crimes be thoroughly investigated, prosecuted and punished appropriately, with victims receiving appropriate compensation.
The Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, in his "Update on the human rights situation," recommended adequately identifying, qualifying, investigating and prosecuting hate crimes, including those on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity; and acknowledged the recommendations on hate crimes issued by Georgia’s chief prosecutor.
ODIHR observes that Georgia has not made public reliable data and statistics on hate crimes.
Official figures recorded 22 crimes motivated by anti-religious bias without differentiation by faith.
Georgia introduced a new article into the criminal code to include public incitement to violence. The Human Rights Protection Unit of the Chief Prosecutor's Ofﬁce of Georgia has elaborated a recommendation regarding the application of Article 53 §3(1) of the Criminal Code of Georgia that prescribes the commission of crimes with bias motive as an aggravating circumstance of criminal liability. The recommendation concerned issues such as the qualiﬁcation of hate crimes, the investigation process and the collection of evidence and relevant statistical data. The recommendation was considered and evaluated by experts from the European Union and was disseminated among the employees of the Prosecutor's Ofﬁce. Georgian authorities reported positive trends in investigation and prosecution statistics were visible following its dissemination.