European Court of Human Rights claims Georgia violated religious minority’s rights

Jehovah's Witnesses in Tbilisi. Image: DF Watch

Jehovah’s Witnesses in Tbilisi. Image: DF Watch

The European Court of Human Rights have claimed that Georgian authorities violated the rights of a group of Jehovah’s Witnesses in a ruling related to a historic case filed by the religious minority.

Jehovah’s Witnessses living in Begheluri claimed that they were subjected to treatment that breached their human rights in a series of incidents dating back from the early 2000s. Among the violations claimed was inhuman treatment and discrimination based on their religious beliefs.

Among the individual cases mentioned are a number of attacks on the religious minority that they claim were carried out by members of the Georgian police force. Georgian authorities deny many of the claims however and sought to defend the actions of their police force during court hearings.

The group of almost 100 people brought their case before the European court after failing to find retribution from the Georgian legal system.

After considering the case the court ruled that Georgian authorities of the time had acted in a way that had denied the group several human rights and was therefore against international human rights laws. Judges ruled that the nation of Georgia should pay compensation of around 350 Euros to each individual whose rights were violated.

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