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High Council of Justice of Georgia

High Council of Justice of Georgia

High School of Justice of Georgia

High School of Justice of Georgia

Disciplinary Committee of Judges of Common Courts of Georgia

Disciplinary Committee of Judges of Common Courts of Georgia

Georgian Bar Association

Georgian Bar Association

Coalition for an Independent and Transparent Judiciary

Coalition for an Independent and Transparent Judiciary

National Center for Commercial Law

National Center for Commercial Law

National Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution

National Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution

Arbitration Initiative Georgia

Arbitration Initiative Georgia

Batumi City Court Announces a Decision on Batumi Mosque Case

01 October 2019 Batumi City Court Announces a Decision on Batumi Mosque Case

On September 30, Batumi City Court announced a decision on the Batumi mosque case —the claims of the Muslims’ foundation to support building a new mosque were partially satisfied. The interests of the Muslim community were represented by the Tolerance and Diversity Institute (TDI) and the Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC), with the support of USAID/PROLoG.

The court case relates to Batumi City Hall’s denial to the Muslim community’s request to build a house of worship in Batumi and to identify discrimination on religious grounds. After multiple promises of the State without any tangible results, in 2016, the Muslim community collected more than 12,000 signatures and submitted them to the local and central government, asking permission to build a new mosque. The request was ignored again by the State. The Muslim community then decided to purchase land for a new mosque with their own resources and with the help of worshipers' donations. In 2017, they applied to Batumi City Hall for a building permit. The City refused to issue a permit, and, in June of 2017, a local group brought a case to Batumi city court.  

The court found discrimination, annulled Batumi City Hall’s refusal to grant the first stage construction permit and returned the case to Batumi City Hall for reconsideration. Batumi City Hall will now have to reconsider issuing the building permit. The court did not, however, satisfy the request of the plaintiff to order Batumi City Hall to issue the first stage construction permit.

The court’s decision regarding discrimination is also very important. Unequal treatment was based on the fact that there are seven Georgian Orthodox churches built in the same residential area, some of them on municipality-owned lands. The judge noted that City Hall’s approach toward the two different religious communities is unequal.

USAID
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