Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze is making a state visit to Britain, seeking economic and political backing for his domestic reform efforts.
Shevardnadze departed for Britain on July 17. During his London visit he was scheduled to meet with top British leaders, including Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Tony Blair, as well as leading members of the business community.
The occasion of Georgia's presidential elections on April 9 [See Eurasia Insight], as well as the first anniversary of its accession to the Council of Europe on April 27, provides an opportunity to evaluate the country's compliance with its obligations.
Torture is the western world's dirty little secret. In a new report, the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) identified torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment as one of the OSCE region's most wide-spread problems.