Ombudsman calls for investigating illegal surveillance cases
 Tbilisi 21:10 - 28.01.14 «GHN»
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Public Defender of Georgia, Ucha Nanuashvili called on the Georgian authorities on 28 January to investigate the cases of illegal surveillance. The Ombudsman assessed the fact of destroying part of the secret tapes containing information about private lives of citizens by the Interior Ministry on 5 September 2013 as a "positive fact".

"In 2013 the Interior Ministry declared that as a result of illegal surveillance thousands of video and photo materials, including the ones containing information about private lives of the citizens were compiled. A commission was set up to work on the issues of illegal eavesdropping and surveillance. The Public Defender of Georgia was also invited as a member of the commission. The Ombudsman believes that the tapes should not be destroyed in the way that it hinders the interests of the investigation. A one-off action of destroying materials containing illegally obtained information about persons' private lives cannot ensure firm legal guarantees of inviolability of personal space. It is necessary that the facts of violation of human rights be effectively investigated and the relevant persons be held accountable. The recognition of such violations, revealing of the persons responsible for the violations and holding them accountable will become a basis for preventing such violations. Not investigating similar crimes and leaving the persons responsible without holding them accountable will result in strengthening of the syndrome of impunity, which has been one of the main challenges in terms of human rights," the Ombudsman said.

The Public Defender stressed that it is important to take into account the opinion of EU's Special Representative for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg. "According to him, it is important to launch an investigation on the materials depicting human torture and the persons participating in the crime should be held accountable," Nanuashvili said.

The commission working on secret surveillance materials will hold its meeting on Wednesday.



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