The pressure on the NGO Rehabilitation Centre for Victims of Torture “EMPATHY”
On August 20, 2019, during the business trip of the head of the organization,the three employees of the LEPL State Regulation Agency for Medical Activities, existing at the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, without any agreement or presentation of the relevant order, attacked the center “Empathy” and forced the staff to sign the penalty protocol, as if the center “Empathy” had violated terms of license of forensic expertise.
On August 26 “Empathy” director Mariam Jishkariani and Lawyer Giorgi Lemonjava were in the meeting at the Regulation Agency, where became clear the fact of abuse of authorityfrom the side of the Agency, – they couldn’t present neither the order with which they entered into the “Empathy”, nor the protocol that they brought there,their demand for maximum fine was incomprehensible, which was sent in writing to the “Empathy” in accordance with our request.
The “Empathy” hasn’t violated terms of license, consequently, we applied with complaintadministratively to the Regulation Agency and to the Minister of the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia on 02/09/2019, however, we have not received any response so far.
The mentioned fact we consider as a motivated harassment and oppression of the “Empathy”, so as incentive of using the Regulation Agency as a punitive unit should have been decided elsewhere. The “Empathy” is engaged in advocacy, including forensic expertise, in various high-profile cases, namely, in direction of Occupied Territories -cases of Tatunashvili and Kvaratskhelia, alleged Police torture cases, politically motivated torture cases, as well as June 20-21 “Gavrilov Night” victims’ cases.
The center “Empathy” is the only NGO, non-profit organization, which possesses Forensic Medical and Forensic Psychiatric licenses and implements documenting of inhuman treatment according to the international standards (Istanbul Protocol, Minnesota Protocol). We consider, that aforementioned became basis for motivated persecution of the center “Empathy”. In case of court trial interests of the “Empathy” will be defended by our lawyers and by NGO “GDI”.
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