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Georgia: first visit by UN expert on freedoms of peaceful assembly and association

3 February 2012

GENEVA - The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, will undertake the first visit of his tenure to Georgia from 6 to 13 February 2012, at the invitation of the Government.

"With elections planned for this year, Georgia has a wonderful opportunity to enhance the enjoyment of all human rights for all its citizens, and especially the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, which are the fulcrum for the enjoyment of democracy and economic development," said the independent human rights expert, who will travel to Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Batumi.

“This mission will provide me with an opportunity to look in-depth at issues concerning freedoms of peaceful assembly and association in Georgia, by allowing me to collect first-hand information from the different actors concerned.”

During his visit, the Special Rapporteur will meet with Government officials, representatives of the judiciary, legislature, media, civil society, as well as with the Public Defender. He will also meet representatives of the diplomatic corps, United Nations system and other international organizations.

A press conference will be held on Monday, 13 February, at the Courtyards Marriott at the Freedom Square in Tbilisi, from 14h00 to 16h00, during which the Special Rapporteur will share his preliminary findings and recommendations.

Based on information gathered during the visit, Mr. Kiai will present a report containing its final observations and recommendations at the 20th session of the Human Rights Council.

Maina Kiai was appointed as Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in March 2011 by the Human Rights Council for an initial period of three years. He took up his functions on 1 May 2011. As Special Rapporteur, he is independent from any Government or organization and serves in his individual capacity.

ENDS

For more information on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/AssemblyAssociation/Pages/SRFreedomAssemblyAssociationIndex.aspx

OHCHR Country Page – Georgia: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/ENACARegion/Pages/GEIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact Mr. Pol Planas (Tel: +41 79 217 3009; +995 599 353 826 / email: pplanas@ohchr.org)

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