South Caucasian Federation for Human Rights – Now in Georgia
05 July, 2012

South Caucasian Federation for Human Rights has been established in Georgia. Georgian Journal exclusively interviewed one of the founders of the federation Nana Kakabadze, the head of the Non-Governmental Organization “Former Political Prisoners for Human Rights”.



“Georgia is a special country in the South Caucasian region. There goes a myth or a truth that this country is a beacon of democracy. That is why we, the human rights defenders, find it very difficult to talk about human rights’ violations with foreign experts. It is considered that this is one of the most democratic countries, with democratic government; therefore, those who criticize the government’s specific actions, are marginals. NGOs in Armenia and Azerbaijan have no similar challenge”, Nana Kakabadze told Georgian Journal. She also noted that many things have changed for the better in the country - police reform, simplified issuance of documents, as well as business registration procedures and this facade is very appealing, especially to foreigners, but from the viewpoint of human rights, Ms. Kakabadze states that steps have only been made backwards.
“Nowadays Western reports about Georgia have become more or less objective, though they do not entirely reflect the reality yet. That is why, we, who have 15 year-long and longer experience in the field of human rights, decided to establish a Federation of Human Rights in the South Caucasus region. This will help human rights’ defenders spread the word throughout international community, present the main problems and challenges to foreign colleagues with the goal to get more effective assistance in resolving them”, Nana Kakabadze said. According to her, within the framework of the project, they are planning to create a fund, which will provide not only legal support to people, whose rights have been violated according to the European Convention and the Universal Declaration, but financial assistance as well.
“For instance, today in our country one of the most acute issues are administrative detentions and administrative penalties, most of which are imposed on young people; because it is mainly youth organizations that often hold rallies and demonstrations. Creating a special fund will serve as a deterrent for the government, that will know that such unreasonable penalties lose their weight, when there is a leverage, which compensates financial sanctions illegally imposed by the court”, Kakabadze said. She explained that a special commission would be established to study and review particular cases carefully and after having discussed them, the fund will assist those, whose rights have been violated, including individuals persecuted and detained for political reasons, as well as those oppressed for their sexual orientation.
Once a year South Caucasian Federation for Human Rights will hold a comparative analysis of human rights’ abuses in the region. Armenia and Azerbaijan will present their reports as well, thus presenting the existing situation to the western colleagues, letting them define the situation in the regions from the democratic and human rights perspectives.
“We wish this fund to serve not concrete founders, but prompt the entire country to take part in its working process. That is why we will spread our word through social networks, Facebook, etc. It is crucial for us how the population will respond to this initiative”, Kakabadze said.
When she explained why this issue has become especially urgent recently, Nana Kakabadze said that political temperature has become extremely high, adding that Bidzina Ivanishvili’s appearance caused certain tension in the government, increasing administrative persecution and detentions of the people with different opinion. “That is why it is of dramatic importance to become active in this regard. And if the society supports us properly, we believe that the work of this fund will be very fruitful”, Nana Kakabadze told Georgian Journal.