TBILISI, DFWatch–The Ministry of Internal Affairs has defined the meaning of ‘immoral behavior’ in public places, a crime punishable with a fine of 200 lari (USD 120).
‘Immoral behavior’ is defined as actions which show disrespect to others, including sexual type of actions, completely or partly becoming naked in public, and satisfying physiological needs.
When the size of the fines for such violations was increased in July, it led to protests, as many thought it would mean a ban on kissing. Youth showed their opposition to it by organizing a kissing event in public, and demanded a clear definition of what constitutes immoral behavior.
Presenting the definition, Deputy Interior Minster Levan Izoria explained to the judiciary committee in parliament that the ban on immoral behavior in public had in fact been on the books for a long time, and it is something that all countries have in their legislation.
In case of violation, a person may first be given a warning, but that depends on the ‘scale and nature’ of the actions, Izoria explained. He said the sanction can be a USD 120 fine.
According to the regulation, drinking in public places is also punishable. Streets, however, are not covered by the drinking ban, but at stadiums, squares, parks and other public places, it will not be allowed to drink alcohol.
Izoria said there will also be exceptions for example in places where beer is being sold. The fine for drinking in public places is USD 120, but offenders will first be given a warning.