On May 7, 2014 Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby provided the following readout of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s Meeting with Georgia’s Minister of Defense Irakli Alasania:
“Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel met today with Georgia’s Minister of Defense Irakli Alasania.
“Secretary Hagel thanked Minister Alasania for Georgia’s contributions to the International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan, and he encouraged Georgia to continue the progress it has made on defense reform and NATO inter-operability.
“The two leaders also discussed the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. They reviewed the efforts by allies and partners in the region to reinforce our international commitments and to continue to apply diplomatic and economic pressure on Moscow.
“Secretary Hagel reaffirmed the importance of the U.S. partnership with Georgia, and pledged to continue our strong defense cooperation” (source: DOD http://www.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=16695).
Note: Georgia’s human rights record leaves a lot to be desired, putting it mildly. The October 2012 parliamentary elections marked Georgia’s first peaceful transition of power since independence.
The opposition coalition, led by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, defeated President Mikheil Saakashvili’s party and gained a majority in parliament, with charges of political corruption and vote rigging.
Although the new government inherited a troubling human rights problems, including little judicial independence and misuse of administrative (misdemeanor) charges persist of unlawful detainment of activists for minor infractions without having to follow full due process.
On You-tube numerous graphic video material, released in September 2012, depicts graphic torture and ill-treatment of inmates, highlighting a long-standing problem of prisoner abuse…
Rectifying past abuses and holding former government officials accountable without turning the process into political retribution remains a very serious challenge.
In addition investigations into torture and ill-treatment in custody are slow and lacked transparency in Georgia.
Investigations into past abuses raised some concerns regarding selective justice and politically motivated prosecutions. Police did not adequately respond to several violent incidents against religious minorities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.