PM Accuses “Elite NGOs” in Providing “Fabricated Information” for State Department Report on Georgia

Speaking to journalists during a visit to Marneuli, home to a large Azeri minority, for the Muslim holiday of Novruz on 21 March, Georgian Prime Minister Garibashvili and asked about the State Department’s 2022 Country Report on Human Rights in Georgia, PM said that the report is mainly based on information provided by “subjective”, “biased” and “unfair” conclusions developed by “politically engaged” “so-called elite NGOs, which is regrettable.” He said: “These facts are only not true, these are mere speculations “based on false, made-up, so to speak fabricated information. This is of no interest to us.”

He then talked about the “systemic corruption, systemic crimes” and human rights abuses 10 years ago, which he said he “does not remember mentioned in the State Department report, for example, which is unfortunate, of course.”

According to the PM, the “Government of Georgia opposes to all of this the truth, and no report can stand up to the truth.”

Garibashvili  went on to say that “Georgia is an open democracy”, which is proven by the existence of “hundreds of NGOs”, which “unfortunately spread wrong information in the entire world and are trying to discredit the image of our state, which is of course, not in the interest of our state and our people.”

He said: “In spite of all this, you can see that today we have complete freedom for the non-governmental sector, for the media, for everyone.” He then addressed one of the opposition channels: “You represent TV Pirveli, for example, which is very critical often, for the most part, you don’t rely on facts, you don’t check facts, and you talk to our public with lies, you spread lies. But that’s normal… It is part of democracy.”

When asked about the recent ICC decision to issue an arrest warrant for Russian President V. Putin Garibashvili said that members of the GD had already addressed the issue and issued statements. He also said: “The world is facing the threat of the 3rd World War, this assessment is not exaggerated, this is not a speculation.” He added that there is a global trend of increasing confrontation and escalation and that in these circumstances his role as head of state is to “preserve peace, stability and the survival of our country”.

Asked about the EPP initiative to a adopt a FARA-like legislation at EU level, Garibashvili said: “This is a double standard. Our people see and will see even better in the future, that anything we do or intend to do, everything is in line with the established world practice and trends, under development in the world and whole Europe”. He said that Georgian authorities will “closely study the developments and then will make assessments.”

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