The United Nations (UN) human rights office has called on the ruling Georgian Dream party to withdraw a bill proposing to replace the State Inspector’s Service with two new agencies.
Several Georgian majority deputies on December 25 tabled a bill on the basis of which the State Inspector’s Service would be replaced by two new agencies: the Special Investigation Service and the Personal Data Protection Service, who would be empowered to investigate offenses committed by the authorities and respectively monitor the processing of personal data.
The UN human rights office says it is “deeply concerned” by the proposal, noting that the Inspector’s Service is an “independent institution playing a key role in the prevention of torture and the protection of human rights. private life”.
#Georgia: Deeply concerned about Parliament’s proposals to abolish the Office of the State Inspector, an independent institution playing a key role in # TorturePrevention & privacy protection. We demand the withdrawal of the initiative and the guarantee of the independence of national human rights mechanisms.
– United Nations Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) December 27, 2021
He also says that the independence of national human rights mechanisms must be guaranteed in the country.
NGOs, the parliamentary opposition and State Inspector Londa Toloraia criticized the bill saying the government aims to influence the independent institution.
Toloraia called the MPs’ initiative a “punishment for the service for its independence” earlier today and said it would protect the “interests of the service and each of its employees”.
NGOs said the State Inspector’s Service has been praised for its “independence and impartiality” by international partners, noting that the body needs to be strengthened rather than replaced.
The Georgian Parliament adopted the Law on the State Inspector’s Service on July 21, 2018, and the service started its activities on November 1, 2019.
According to the draft law, the State Inspector’s Service is responsible for carrying out investigations under the supervision of the Georgian Prosecutor’s Office.
The State Inspection Service received a total of 5,523 notifications with eight police officers having been convicted in the past two years.