We are concerned by the pressure non-governmental organisations have been subjected to in Georgia. Recently, accelerated rate of attacks have been observed against those non-profits, whose work contributes to protecting democratic values, universal freedoms, equality-for-all and European type of management of state.
On May 1st, 2014 Prime-Minister Irakli Gharibashvili accused NGOs party to the civil campaign "Es Shen Gekheba” ("This Concerns You") in "shaking the image of the country” and called their activism as "undermining the state”. This statement served as an impetus for politicians to launch verbal attacks and other disruptive actions against non-governmental organisations.
On January 26, 2015 former Prime-Minister of Georgia, Bidzina Ivanishvili has directly threatened heads of non-governmental organisations, Nino Lomjaria, and Eka Gigauri, as well as, the former head of GYLA, Kakha Kozhoridze and in fact, vowed to soon publish compromising materials against these individuals.
We believe that, Mr. Ivanishvili’s statements do not belong to an individual citizen, but actually constitute the position of an informal ruler of the State. Unsubstantiated accusations voiced by the representatives of the ruling powers constitute a deviation from Georgian Government’s declared values. These statements leave us with the impression that a dedicated campaign is being carried out against civil organisations. Furthermore, not only does this attitude harm democratic values and ideas, to which non-governmental organisations are committed to, but it empowers groups that openly attack these values. This tendency is a matter of an utmost concern, and it deters democratic development of Georgian State.
We call upon the members of the Government and on to other politicians to refrain from applying pressure on non-governmental organisations and other actions directed against CSOs.