Successfully Litigated Cases of Human Rights Center (From November, 2023 through February, 2024)

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  Strasbourg Court Held Violation of Right to Life and Ordered the State to Pay 12 000 EURO to the Applicant 
The European Court of Human Rights published judgment on the case Elibashvili v. Georgia and held the violation of the procedural limb of Article 2 of the Convention. Human Rights Center prepared the application for the applicant, in which she complained for the death of her son and ineffective investigation into the incident based on the Articles 2 and 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights     

On the case Elibashvili v. Georgia, the European Court of Human Rights held that there has been a violation of the procedural limb of Article 2 of the Convention and concluded that the State failed to conduct independent, impartial and effective investigation into the incident. The Court indicated at the violations observed in the course of investigation and in fact, shared all arguments of the applicant with regard to the ineffectiveness of the investigation process. The Court rejected all arguments of the State.     

As the judgment states, the Court cannot overlook the fact that the link between the death of the applicant’s son and his being pursued by the police was apparent as early as 3 August 2016. Even though the relevant domestic regulations provided that offences allegedly committed by police officers were to be investigated by a prosecutor’s office, the investigation had been assigned to the police. It was only fifteen months later that the investigation was taken over by the prosecutor’s office. Hence, the most crucial stage of the investigation was conducted by an authority lacking sufficient independence from the police officers whose responsibility might have been engaged in the incident. Moreover, several major deficiencies in the investigation are directly linked to that phase. 

The European Court of Human Rights noted that video surveillance footage may constitute evidence that is critical for establishing the circumstances of the relevant events. The Court considers that the manner in which the CCTV evidence was gathered and handled in the present case was unsatisfactory. It appears that the majority of the requests to seize and obtain either road-traffic or private CCTV footage were made belatedly, with potentially important evidence being lost or deleted in the meantime.     

Secondly, the Court underlined the inconsistencies between the statements of the two police officers and the traffic accident report which had been drawn up immediately after the incident on 1 August 2016. The Court could not get any explanation from the State as to why the initial traffic accident report failed to provide a full description of the incident. Thus, the fact that the applicant’s son had been pursued by the police on foot before disappearing in the dark, and the alleged involvement of other police officers in the search, were omitted altogether from the report. “…the remaining police officers were first interviewed with almost a four-month delay. In the absence of an explanation provided by the Government, the Court finds such a delay unjustified…”

“… Last but not least, the investigation has already been ongoing for more than seven years. The Government have not provided any explanation for such a lengthy investigation. Noting the recurrent nature of the problem of protracted criminal investigations, particularly in cases concerning suspicious deaths and/or ill-treatment involving representatives of the law-enforcement authorities. The Court finds this delay unjustified,” – the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights reads.     

In the end, the Court held the investigation into the death of the applicant’s son was ineffective that violates the procedural limb of the Article 2 of the Convention (Right to Life).

As regards the issue of the alleged responsibility of the respondent State for the death of the applicant’s son, the Court considers, in view of the material available in the case file that it is not in a position to reach any definite findings under the substantive limb of Article 2 of the Convention. 

The Court held that the respondent State is to pay the applicant, EUR 12,000, in respect of non-pecuniary damage. 

Special Penitentiary Service to Pay 50 000 GEL to the Victim of Torture, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment

The Tbilisi Appellate Court ordered the Special Penitentiary Service to pay 50 000 GEL to the citizen in relation with the case of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment in the penitentiary system of Georgia. 

HRC’s beneficiary L.K was victim of torture and inhuman treatment in the penitentiary establishment N8 during many years that significantly damaged his health conditions. L.K received a victim’s status based on the prosecutor’s decree in 2017. 

HRC appealed the city court on behalf of L.K. on July 1, 2020 to claim reimbursement of the moral damage. On November 15, 2022, the Tbilisi City Court announced the judgment and granting the appeal ordered the Special Penitentiary Service to pay 30 000 GEL to the applicant. The decision was appealed in the Tbilisi Appellate Court. In accordance with the November 12, 2019 judgment on L.K’s case, the senior officers and staff members of the penitentiary establishment N8 were convicted for the violation of the Article 1441 Part 2 –a, d, e and f of the Criminal Code of Georgia (torture, i.e. exposing a person, to such conditions or treating him/her in a manner that causes severe physical pain or psychological or moral anguish, and which aims to obtain information, evidence or confession, threaten or coerce, or punish the person committed by an official or a person holding equivalent position by abusing the official position in group or otherwise against the imprisoned person). 

Ministry of Economics Fully Reimbursed Salary of Missed Months to Unlawfully Dismissed Employees 

The Tbilisi City Court approved the agreement act between the Ministry of Economics and Sustainable Development of Georgia and D.G and D.Ch. In accordance with the agreement act, the Ministry fully reimbursed the missed salaries to D.G. and D.Ch, who were unlawfully dismissed from their working places. The applicants refused to annul their dismissal orders and to be restored to the working places. HRC represented D.Ch and D.G in the court. 

Gori Culture Development Agency Fully Reimbursed Missed Salary to the Unlawfully Dismissed Employee 

On December 14, 2023 the Gori District Court approved the agreement act between the LEPL Gori Culture Development Agency and G.Ts. In accordance with the agreement act, the Agency fully reimbursed the missed months’ salary to the unlawfully dismissed G.Ts. The latter declined other claims in the appeal (to annul the order on dismissal and on his disciplinary punishment; restoration to the working place). HRC represented G.Ts. in the court. 

Georgian Post to Pay 25 500 GEL to the Former Employee

After 4-years-long court dispute, the former employee won the trial against the Georgian Post Ltd. Pursuant to the ruling of the Supreme Court of Georgia, the Georgian Post will have to pay 25 500 GEL to the former employee. With the December 27, 2023 ruling, the Supreme Court rejected the cassation lawsuit of the GP and upheld the decision of the Tbilisi Appellate Court, as well as the decision of the Khashuri district court, which granted the appeal of A.B. More precisely, the court annulled the order of the GP to dismiss A.B. from the working place and ordered the former employer to pay compensation to the unlawfully dismissed employee. 
HRC defended legal interests of A.B. in the court. 

Gori District Court Annulled the Ticket Issued by Patrol Police

On February 14, 2024 the Gori district court partly granted the administrative lawsuit of T.K. and annulled the 200 GEL ticket issued by patrol police to him as well as the refusal of the administrative body to satisfy the complaint of T.K. The patrol police department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was ordered to re-consider the significant circumstances in the case files and make new decision. 

Tbilisi City Hall Is Ordered to Re-examine the Case of Signature Fabrication 

Tbilisi City Court annulled the penalty imposed by the Supervision City Service of the Tbilisi City Hall on the citizen for unlawful misappropriation of the willfully occupied plot. HRC defends legal interests of M.M. The expertise concluded that the penalty notice sent by the Supervision City Service to the citizen contained fabricated signature and it did not belong to the addressee. The Tbilisi City Hall was ordered to re-examine the case of M.M. because of this newly discovered circumstance. 

Dentist Has His Certificate Suspended because of Incorrect Treatment of a Patient

In 2023, based on the petition of Human Rights Center, the professional council of the LEPL Medical and Pharmaceutic Performance Regulations Agency determined the violation of the quality in the medical service provided to the citizen. Citizen M.Kh underwent incorrect medical treatment in a dental clinic in 2018. Based on the December 14, 2023 decision of the Agency her dentist had his professional certificate suspended for 6 months and was ordered to take professional rehabilitation course. The director of the dental clinic also received a written warning from the Agency. 

Ministry of IDPs and Healthcare Ordered to Pay 67 000 GEL to Unlawfully Dismissed Employee 

The Tbilisi City Court granted the lawsuit of Human Rights Center and annulled the order of the Agency of IDPs, Eco-Migrants and Livelihood within the Ministry of IDPs from the Occupied Territories, Labor, Healthcare and Social Welfare to dismiss O.S. from the working place. O.S. worked in the Agency since 2019 and was unlawfully fired from the working place in October 2021. 

The Tbilisi City Court ordered the Agency within the Ministry of IDPs and Healthcare to pay compensation and reimburse salaries of the missed months to the unlawfully dismissed employee in the amount of 67 000 GEL. 

The Court Annulled the Ticket of the Patrol Police

The Tbilisi City Court granted the lawsuit of Human Rights and annulled the individual-legal act issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, based on which a citizen was fined with 800 GEL. The MIA argued that E.D. had allowed a drunken person to drive his car. 

The Court examination showed that the applicant had not assigned the car to a drunken person and was driving the car himself while being a sober. 

Gurjaani District Court Fully Granted the Appeal of the Citizen against Former Spouse

On November 16, 2023, the Gurjaani district court fully granted the lawsuit of the citizen, who requested to determine the rule of relationship with his child. Besides that, the court underlined that the wish of the child shall be taken into account and the decision shall be enforced through active engagement of the Agency of Trafficking and Care. HRC defended the legal interests of the applicant. 

Woman Sued by Family Members for Violence Turned Up a Victim of Domestic Violence Herself

On February 29, 2024, the Gurjaani district court refused T.Sh, N.Z. and Z.Sh, to issue restraining order against their family member G.S. and did not grant the applicant’s lawsuit to ban her to live in the house of her husband during 9 months. The evidence presented in the court proved that HRC’s beneficiary G.S. had been victim of economic, psychological and physical violence from the side of her mother-in-law and father-in-law for years that worsened her health conditions.