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Statement by the Secretary General
Situation in Georgia

Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić today made the following statement:

“The adoption at third reading of the draft law ‘on transparency of foreign influence’ by the Parliament of Georgia, without waiting for the opinion of the Venice Commission, is very disappointing and does not reflect the spirit of constructive dialogue.

“Regrettably, international partners’ concerns regarding the draft law’s incompatibility with European democratic and human rights standards were ignored, while the lack of genuine parliamentary deliberations is not in accordance with an inclusive democratic process.

“As the Venice Commission is to issue its opinion soon, its legal recommendations should provide the basis for meaningful dialogue and allow a way forward in line with Council of Europe norms and values.

“I am also deeply troubled by numerous reports, including by the Public Defender of Georgia, regarding intimidation campaigns, physical assaults, the disproportionate use of force, unlawful detentions, the spread of personal data and the use of stigmatising official narratives to target peaceful protestors, civil activists, journalists, and opposition representatives. I call on the Georgian authorities to take immediate steps to prevent such actions which are irreconcilable with the principles of a democratic society, while ensuring proper and effective investigations into all reported cases of alleged rights abuses.

“The Council of Europe stands ready to assist Georgia in ensuring full compliance with international standards, thereby consolidating its democratic development and further progress towards EU accession.”

 Congress President expresses deep concern about the draft law in Georgia

Secretary General Strasbourg 15 May 2024
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