2008-02-05Human Rights Watch World Report - January 2008
After several days of large-scale peaceful opposition demonstrations in November, the Georgian government initiated a violent crackdown on protesters, causing a serious human rights crisis. This crisis occurred in the context of an emerging but dominant view among the governing political elite and its supporters that short-term, supposedly minor sacrifices in human rights are justifiable to build a stronger state, which can better protect human rights in the long term. This approach, however, is leading Georgia away from international standards and represents a gamble with freedom. Prison conditions remain poor, and fair trial and property rights are restricted. Against international recommendations, in 2007 Georgia lowered the minimum age of criminal responsibility.
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