Public Defender, Giorgi Tugushi, met with minister in charge of issues of internally displaced persons, Koba Subeliani, on September 2 to discuss “violations that took place during the evictions” of IDPs from the state-owned buildings in Tbilisi in recent weeks, the Public Defender’s Office said.
It said that Tugushi told the Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees that IDPs should be informed in advance about where and under what conditions they will have to move and there should be their consent on resettlement.
Minister Subeliani said after the meeting that his ministry would spare no efforts to improve process of informing the IDPs. “It is the state’s priority to provide dwelling to each and every displaced person of course as far as it is possible,” he said.
The process of eviction from several state-owned buildings in July and August came under fire from local and international human rights groups, as well as from UN refugee agency and the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe’s Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population.
The Public Defender’s Office also said that during the meeting the Minister pledged to cooperate with the ombudsman’s office and to “leave no recommendation and letter of the Public Defender without a response.”
The Public Defender’s recent biannual report on human rights situation in the country, covering second half of 2009, criticized, among other state agency, the ministry in charge of IDP issues of either delaying response to or ignoring his office’s requests for various information.