“The quality of protection of civil and political rights has deteriorated in the country. In recent years, there has been a tendency to further restrict freedom of expression, unjustified interference with freedom of assembly, etc.,” Public Defender Nino Lomjaria said while presenting a report at the meeting of the Parliament’s Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee.
Based on the Ombudsman’s assessment, the dangerous and hostile environment, in which journalists, civil activists and human rights defenders have to work, is worrying.
“Unfortunately, there has been an increase in cases of physical attacks against representatives of critical media outlets. The cynical attitude of the political officials towards journalists, their obstruction to attend the events of the state agencies and statements aimed at discrediting them have become a common practice.
“The protection of freedom of expression is directly related to the smooth realization of the right to assembly. In this regard, the main problem is that the code of administrative offences adopted in 1984, incompatible with the current constitutional order, is still used during the assembly. The law enforcement officers used disproportionate force in managing and dispersing assemblies, and the cases of arrests did not meet the requirements of necessity,” Nino Lomjaria said.