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Extending the activities of the Council of Europe anti-torture Committee to Abkhazia and South Ossetia

From 29 September to 2 October, representatives of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) had a series of contacts in Tbilisi and Sukhumi aimed at enabling the Committee to exercise its mandate throughout the territory of Georgia.
03/10/2008
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In Tbilisi, the CPT’s representatives held talks with the Minister and Deputy Minister of Justice, Nika Gvaramia and Tina Burjaliani, the Minister of Reintegration, Temuri Yakobashvili, the First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Ekaterine Zguladze, and the Secretary of the National Security Council of Georgia, Alexander Lomaia, as well as with other senior government officials. They also met the Public Defender of Georgia, Sozar Subari.

Similar consultations were previously held in July 2008, following the postponement, at the Georgian authorities’ request, of an intended ad hoc visit by the CPT to the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The new series of talks provided an opportunity to examine the implications of the recent armed conflict and subsequent developments for the planned ad hoc visit.

In Sukhumi, the CPT’s representatives met the de facto Presidential Plenipotentiaries for human rights of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, respectively Georgyi Otyrba and David Sanakoyev, and explained to them the Committee’s mandate and working methods.

The CPT’s representatives also had discussions with members of the OSCE Mission to Georgia, the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia, and the ICRC Delegation in Tbilisi.

The CPT trusts that these contacts have laid the foundations for the visit by the Committee to places of deprivation of liberty in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The CPT remains committed to organising that visit in the near future.

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The CPT’s representatives were Mauro Palma, President of the CPT, Ales Butala, member of the CPT in respect of Slovenia, and Trevor Stevens, Executive Secretary of the CPT.