TBILISI, DFWatch – The ‘This Affects You Too’ campaign continues to push for amendments to recent new rules that they say restricts freedom of speech, property rights, the right to political activism, right to assembly and independence more generally.
Today, campaigners are meeting with the top lawmaker for judicial issues to find a way forward in the controversy.
An official website is also online at www.esshengexeba.ge, a Facebook page has been set up, seeing a good load of feedback, with people continue signing the online petition. 413 persons have signed it by now to demand guarantees in the law about political unions of citizens so basic freedoms are protected. Changes to the law last December have caused strong objections.
The campaign plans to gather together local and international organizations and political parties on Friday to share information about the dangers posed by the law and present changes that would improve it.
Pavle Kublashvili, head of parliament’s judiciary issues committee, will today at 17:00 meet representatives of the campaign in parliament. He says that the law is not against the civil activism and the ruling National Movement party is ready to have discussions with them about the law.
Organizers of the campaign are also meeting separately today to discuss the further strategy.
The Georgian parliament adopted the changes to the law about political union of the citizens at the end of December, 2011. The goal of the changes was to make the political party financing more transparent and get rid of corruption, the ruling party spokespeople explained.
The law places many restrictions on party financing, and makes them apply also to groups and individual persons directly or somehow related to a political party.
Groups protest the rules because the law is vague and may be applied arbitrarily. It’s hard to know to whom it applies, the opponents of the law say; in theory it could apply to every citizen of the country, which might discourage people from getting involved in politics.