When the conflict between Georgia and Russia erupted this summer, it was initially presented to us as a fragile beacon of liberty (Georgia) being attacked by a big anti-freedom bully (Russia). Since then, that narrative has been shattered by continued revelations about Georgia’s role in starting the conflict. This conflict, as are many conflicts around the world, was one where the governments on both sides didn’t feel accountable for their actions – or to their own citizens – and no one was willing or able to hold them accountable.
For more evidence of how that’s true in Georgia as much as it is in Russia, the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union released this video on the alarming human rights violations going on in Georgia under the premise of fighting drugs:
In a country of 5 million people, police in Georgia are arresting 60,000 people a year for drug crimes. But that’s only the beginning of the problem. Police don’t need any evidence to arrest someone, so when people are arrested, they must take a drug test to prove their innocence. 70% of those arrested last year tested negative. In the video, one official spoke of a man who was repeatedly arrested outside his house and forced to take drug tests as a form of harassment.
You know, it’s so surprising that one of our close allies is as willing as we are to give the police too much power to wage the drug war.