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Statement of Fair Elections Foundation

17.03.2004

Statement of Fair Elections Foundation

March 15 2004

March 15 Ajara. In front of Batumi State University, a peaceful assembly of students and lecturers was held.  Participants called on the state government for a peaceful settlement of a dispute that has arisen between central and local authorities. They also urge local authorities to terminate the illegal distribution of arms among the civilian population. Coordinators and observers from the Fair Elections Foundation were present at the assembly. The assembly was peaceful. A violent attack was directed against the civilian population. Participants were subject to humiliating treatment and threats. Attackers were identified as an armed group of sixty men in uniforms.

These actions run contrary to the basic principles established by the Constitution of Georgia, which guarantee each and every individual the right to hold a public assembly without arms, either indoors or in the open air, without prior permission.

Furthermore, the international obligation of the government of Georgia to guarantee individuals the right to peaceful assembly is also enshrined in universally recognized human rights instruments.

The existing violent environment will have a negative impact upon upcoming parliamentary elections to be held on March 28,

The Fair Elections Foundation urges the Government of Georgia, NGO's, the media, and the international community to react to these violations of Human Rights.

The Human Rights Information and Documentation Center affirms the statement of “Fair Elections” and expresses grave concern regarding the recently increasing number of human rights violations.

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