In observations published following a visit to Georgia, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe recommended that bias motive be consistently taken into account as an aggravating circumstance and that hate crimes receive punishment commensurate with the gravity of the offence.
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Report Data - Georgia - 2016
The Chief Prosecutor's Office of Georgia has continued implementing the Prosecutors and Hate Crime Training (PAHCT) programme, based on an MoU signed with ODIHR in 2016. Four trainings on the effective investigation of hate crimes were conducted for 65 prosecutors and investigators of the prosecution service.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs set up a Human Rights Protection and Investigation Quality Monitoring Department. It aims to ensure a timely response on hate crime incidents and the efficient investigation of such crimes. The Ministry of Internal Affairs has also developed methodological guidelines on hate crime investigation, which are now being operationalized. Furthermore, a training course on "discrimination-based" crimes was developed and delivered to 50 investigators.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs, Chief Prosecutor's Office and the Supreme Court of Georgia collect and process statistical data in line with their internal guidelines. The implementation of a methodology on collecting statistical data on hate crimes is planned for 2020, in co-operation with the Council of Europe.
ODIHR observes that Georgia has not made public reliable data and statistics on hate crimes.
Forty-four detectives from police departments across Georgia participated in a three-day training on hate crime investigation. This training was held in co-operation with the Office of the Public Defender. The training focused on increasing understanding of hate crime, definitions of bias indicators, victim issues, hate crime legislation, and case studies.
ODIHR and the Chief Prosecutor's Office of Georgia signed an agreement to implement the Prosecutors and Hate Crime Training (PAHCT) programme. The Chief Prosecutor's Office, the Office of the Public Defender, the non-governmental Women's Initiatives Supportive Group (WISG) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs were involved in the design of the training materials. In addition, 50 prosecutors participated in a hate crime training organized by ODIHR and the Office of the Public Defender.
The Chief Prosecutor's Office of Georgia prepared a development strategy for 2017 - 2021. This strategy contains a section on countering discrimination and hate crimes. The strategy envisions the elaboration of recommendations on crimes committed with religious biases, the introduction of specialized hate crime prosecutors within the Prosecutor's Office, and increasing public awareness of hate crimes, including through the publication of notable cases on the official webpage of Prosecutor's Office.
From 22 recorded hate crimes committed on religious grounds, one targeted a Buddhist, in one journalists were targeted for perceived criticism of Georgian Orthodox Church. The remaining twenty hate crimes targeted Jehovah’s Witnesses.