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Authorities are depriving Georgia the possibility of its’ European integration

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ავტორის გვერდი Georgian PEN 2024-05-20 1121

Since early April 2024, Georgian citizens have been demonstrating en masse against the so-called draft law on "transparency of foreign influence". Thousands of students and professors of numerous alma maters also went on strike.

While the protests have been peaceful, dozens of citizens have been arrested, and several have been beaten severely after being detained. The government has also started criminal proceedings against protesters.

Two of Georgia‘s leading authors have contributed prominently to giving voice to citizens’ concerns. Rati Amaglobeli, poet, co-founder of Georgian PEN and Lasha Bugadze, writer and playwright, have repeatedly spoken at gatherings and helped articulate why it is important to stand up against the effort‘s the Georgian Dream party to take the country on an authoritarian path.

As a consequence, they have repeatedly been harassed. Close to their houses, graffiti mark them as an "Enemy of the Nation". The journalists Nino Zuriashvili and Gela Mtivlishvili, as well as activists and representatives of non-governmental organizations have been targeted in similar fashion.

This harassment is accompanied by direct physical assaults against activists and members of political parties. Activists are being threatened and beaten up. So far, the police is not doing anything to prevent the violence. The authorities are also not investigating these attacks. There are good reasons to believe that these attacks happen at the direct instigation of the ruling party.

PEN Georgia believes that the government is confronting the best citizens of their country, including writers and journalists, with the oppressive methods and wording of the 1930s. This is an attack on freedom of expression, which is completely unacceptable in a modern State that is on the path towards European integration.

PEN Georgia believes that these actions by the governing party means legalization of authoritarianism and deprives Georgia the possibility of becoming a modern democratic country and of its European integration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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