Statement by Mikhail Kamynin, the Spokesman of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regarding the Human Rights Situation in Georgia
The situation with the observance of human rights in Georgia evokes the ever greater concern of the Russian side.
We have to state with regret that the brutal dispersal of peaceful popular demonstrations in Tbilisi, and the subsequent declaration by Georgian authorities of a state of emergency have brought the country close to the situation of an acute human rights crisis.
Police lawlessness, the use of excessive force against the demonstrators, the arrests of opposition members and human rights activists, the ban on independent media activities and the beating of foreign journalists can only be qualified as gross and mass violations of human rights and democratic freedoms.
We expect that the international community, including human rights entities of the UN, OSCE and Council of Europe, will give proper assessment of the hostility of the Georgian leadership to the peaceful expression of dissent, the removal by force of the political opposition and the unprecedented escalation of pressure on civil society.
The impunity of such actions may put in jeopardy not only hundreds of human lives in Georgia itself, but also peace and stability in the region as a whole.
November 8, 2007