The human rights organization Georgian Helsinki Group (GHG) was formed in January 1977 on the model of the Moscow Helsinki Group. Its members were Zviyad Gamsakhurdia (the Head), Viktor Rtsiladze and others, while Merab Kostava was an undeclared member.  The Group managed to put out several appeals in support of people persecuted on political grounds (mainly together with the Initiative Group for the Defence of Human Rights in Georgia).  On 7 April 1977 several members of the GHG and the Initiative Group were arrested. After court trials in the summer of 1978, the Group ceased to exist.

It was restarted in the spring of 1985, then in September 1989 it changed its name to the Georgian Helsinki Union which became a political party headed by Z. Gamsakhurdia. From the end of the 1980s the Georgian Helsinki Union was to coordinate mass protest actions. It initiated the formation of the pre-election bloc “Roundtable – Free Georgia” which won the elections to the Georgian Parliament (28.10.1990). The Union dissolved in 1992-1993 after the overthrow of President Zviyad Gamsakhurdia.  At present under the name “Georgian Helsinki Union – the national rebirth of George” there is a small political party which regards itself as the successor to the GHG.


Based on material from “Memorial” in Moscow