Seizures of opiates elsewhere in the Transcaucases, Central Asia, Turkey, and Western Europe suggest that there is drug trafficking through Georgia. Nevertheless, Government of Georgia (GOG) authorities have provided little new information on the illicit drug situation. Counternarcotics law enforcement activities are not a priority for the GOG, although the GOG has increased efforts to reduce street crime and protect the political system from infiltration by criminal elements. Georgia has not taken steps to become a party to the 1988 UN Convention and made no significant progress in 1996 to enact legislation needed to implement the UN drug conventions.
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Developments
In 1995, the Georgian government strengthened human rights mechanisms, and the U.N. Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) peacekeepers in Abkhazia continued to prevent renewed hostilities in that former war zone. However, political stalemate over the proposed federative status of Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia jeopardized human rights there and prevented some 250,000 internally displaced persons from repatriating. Also, despite some positive new steps, such as requiring police to wear identifying badges on duty, the government was unable to reduce chronic abuses such as police brutality; politically motivated killings, violent attacks and detentions; and violations of due process rights.
On March 10, 1995, Georgia adopted a law enshrining minority rights and, on August 24, passed its first post-independence constitution. On April 17, a new independent human rights group, the All-Georgian Human Rights Council, was created. The government maintained an open dialogue about human rights problems, admitting for the first time that law enforcement bodies had practiced torture, and distanced itself from the Mkhedrioni (Horsemen), an abusive paramilitary group the government had tolerated for years as an unspoken arm of law enforcement.