Cultural heritage of Muslim communities of Georgia is demolished. Mosques are destroyed and rebuilt into churches, inform representatives of the Human Rights Monitoring Group of Ethnic Minorities (MRMG). The monitoring group held another monitoring of Azerbaijan Turkic cultural heritage in Samtshe Dzhavaheti (Georgia), according to which mosques had numerous signs of alteration, scraping and removal of traces, which in future may not enable the identification of a mosque. Such malpractices have been noted in all five mosques of different localities. In some cases, mosques are turned into barns, cowsheds and pigpens. At a prior request, the Ministry of Culture of Georgia provided MRMG representatives with a list of mosques which are considered objects of cultural heritage of Georgia and are protected by the State. Thus, the monitoring group visited the places, including those, which were not in the Ministry’s list. In the village of Kahareti the monitoring group witnessed how the mosque was being altered, presumably into church in spite of the fact that the given object was officially regarded as Georgian cultural heritage. Despite the efforts of Ombudsman Office, which regularly states facts of harsh and systematic violations of rights and freedoms of Muslim community and recommendations of international organizations, who call upon official executive organizations of Georgia to stop the violation of the rights and freedoms of the Muslim Community, the situation is not changing but getting worse. Note: Human Rights Monitoring Group of National Minorities (MRMG) is a non-governmental organization established in Georgia in November 16, 2006. Objectives of the organization are facilitation the development of a tolerant civil society and advancement of knowledge in the field of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The work of MRMG is based on the organization of events with experts in the field of human rights.

QHA