Ithaca, NY (PRWEB) June 15, 2011
Irakli Kakabadze, the Chairmand and CEO of the Egalitarian Institute reports that Temur Basilia, a pro-western Georgian politician and a long standing opponent of Georgian President Saakashvili, became the first former high ranking Georgian official since its independence to be granted political asylum in the United States. Immigration Judge in Baltimore, MD on May 26 reviewed Mr. Basilia’s application and approved the asylum. Mr. Kakabadze was one of the country experts for Mr. Basilia’s asylum case.
“Mr. Basilia’s persecution case is similar to that of many other political opponents of the current Georgian authorities”- said Anna Dolidze, a prominent Georgian human rights lawyer.
Mr. Basilia, a strong supporter of Georgia’s close cooperation with international organizations, served as a Deputy Prime Minister and a Chief Economic Adviser under President Shevardnadze before joining the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 2004. Under his leadership Georgia successfully overcame hyperinflation, introduced national currency and implemented market oriented economic reforms.
International observers and human rights organizations regularly highlight deteriorating human rights situation in Georgia. As the Freedom House’s report Freedom in the World 2011: The Authoritarian Challenge to Democracy, notes “the color revolutions were seen as major disappointments due to the display of authoritarian tendencies by the new presidents in Georgia (et al)…”
Peaceful protesters are regularly violently dispersed and arrested by the Government. On May 25, 2011 the Georgian police forcefully dispersed protest rally using tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets during which at least two people died, dozens were injured and 162 opposition activists were arbitrarily arrested. As Mark C. Toner, the U.S. Department of State spokesman, said at a news briefing on May 27, "(w)e believe that the rights to peacefully express the aspirations of the citizens of Georgia, as in any country, should be respected. And we would call on a government investigation into the incidents of the last several days in which several people were killed".
For more information, contact:
Chairman and CEO Egalitarian Institute
Currently visiting scholar at Cornel University, Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, Ithaca, NY 18450
Phone: 607 592-7122