Georgian Foreign Ministry Summons Norwegian Ambassador Over Saakashvili’s Human Rights Prize

The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned on March 28 the Norwegian Ambassador to Georgia Helene Sand Andresen to express the position of the Georgian side regarding the Norwegian Conservative Party’s decision to award a human rights prize to former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

According to the Georgian MFA during the meeting First Deputy Foreign Minister Lasha Darsalia also addressed the Norwegian Ambassador’s comments on the matter.

“…I am astounded by the comparison with the terrorist Breivik, which I consider extremely unseemly,” said Norwegian Ambassador yesterday referring to PM Garibashvili’s comparison of imprisoned former President Mikheil Saakashvili with terrorist Anders Breivik, while commenting on Saakashvili’s recent award. She also stressed: “The Lindebrække prize is awarded annually by the Norwegian political party “The Conservative Party of Norway – Høyre”. It does not represent the views of the Norwegian government. The Norwegian Embassy in Tbilisi was not aware that former president Saakashvili had been awarded this prize until we read about it in the news.”

According to the Foreign Ministry, the decision of the Norwegian Conservative Party to honor Saakashvili does not contribute to the depolarization of Georgian society and is an insult to those who were victimized, suffered human rights violations and abuses of power that occurred during Saakashvili’s time in office.

Prior to the meeting in the MFA, a group of individuals, including family members of former Control Chamber chairman Sulkhan Molashvili and other citizens who believe they were victims of law enforcement violence during Saakashvili’s tenure, gathered for a protest in front of the Norwegian Embassy.

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