N-Map is pleased to announce the release of our newest film, produced in collaboration with Transparency International Georgia, discussing violations of the right to property in the Republic of Georgia.
From 2004 to 2012, the Georgian government undertook a series of economic development projects intended to improve infrastructure, encourage investment, and boost the country’s capacity for tourism. In order to complete many of these projects, government authorities illegally expropriated private property and refused to provide compensation for the property owners. Approximately 12,000 families were affected. The expropriations had devastating consequences for many families, particularly for families that used their land for subsistence farming.
Our new film focuses on the stories of two of the affected property owners. When these two owners challenged the expropriations, government authorities pressured them—and many others—to drop their claims to the property. “Now I have no money and I cannot sleep well at night,” Omar, one of the owners featured in the film, told us. Boris, the other owner shown in the film, was fired from his job after he objected to the construction of a ski lift on his property. Nevertheless, they have continued to seek justice. Boris is continuing to pursue domestic remedies, and Omar’s case is pending before the European Court of Human Rights.
In October 2012, voters elected a new ruling party for the first time since 2003. Although candidates promised reform, they have not taken action. TI will use this film to encourage policy-makers to provide remedies for affected property owners and adopt legislative amendments that ensure greater legal protection for property rights.