CSOs: Government Violence Cannot Stop Georgian People’s European Aspirations

On May 9, 50 local civil society organizations issued a joint statement addressing the recent orchestrated campaign of abusive phone calls to citizens and physical attacks on activists and politicians protesting the foreign agents law, and said they would “continue to stand on the watchtower of Georgia’s European future to defend the country from Russian methods and violence.”

Commenting on last night’s attacks on citizens, including politicians and civil activists who oppose the Kremlin-inspired foreign agents law, the CSOs say: “The government lost its nerve and revealed too early what kind of country it wants to turn Georgia into.” The statement says that the recent abusive phone calls to hundreds of citizens who oppose the notorious law and organized physical attacks on opposition politicians and activists indicate that the political repressions and change in foreign policy vector announced on April 29 by Bidzina Ivanishvili, founder and honorary chairman of the GD, “have already been clearly put into effect.”

“The oligarch and his puppets forget that Georgia is not Russia,” the statement stresses, adding: “We, the Georgians, know the price of freedom.” The use of the methods of the Russian secret services will have no effect on the struggle of the Georgian people for the European future of the country, it says. The CSOs say that “only the Russian regime” uses such methods as those used last night.

The CSOs are offering legal assistance to all those involved in the protests against the Foreign Agents Law who may need it, as well as those affected by the violent thugs in the aftermath. “We will definitely pursue, demand, and ensure the exposure of the perpetrators,” the CSOs say.

“Freedom is the core value of the Georgian people. That is why we stand and will continue to stand at the watchtower of Georgia’s European future to defend this country from Russian methods and violence. The Georgian people will end this fight with victory and the perpetrators will get their just deserts,” the statement concludes.

Following CSOs signed the joint statement:

Human Rights Development Fund; Human Rights Center; Eastern European Centre for Multiparty Democracy – EECMD; Batumi Independent Living Center; GergArt; Institute of Democracy; Democracy Research Institute – DRI; Democracy Defenders; Europe Foundation; Europe-Georgia Institute; Eco Centre; Economic Policy Research Center; Generations Empowerment Network – GEN; Tbilisi Pride; Institute for Development of Freedom of Information – IDFI; Komli; Green Alternative; Partnership for Human Rights – PHR; Salam Platform; Regional Partnership Center – RPC; The Reforms and Research Group; Soviet past research laboratory – SOVLAB; Transparency International – Georgia; Society and Banks; Greens Movement; International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy – ISFED; Civic Activity and Regional Development Center; Civic Movement for Freedom; Civil Society Foundation; Court Watch; Sapari; Georgian Young Lawers’ Association – GYLA; Georgian Democracy Initiative – GDI; Georgia’s European Orbit; Georgia’s Future Academy; Georgia’s Reforms Associates – GRASS; Association for the Development of Civil Society of Georgia; Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies  (Rondeli Foundation); Social workers for Society Well-being; Social Justice Center; Tolerance and Diversity Institute; Rights Georgia; Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group; EuroClub Kvareli; Alliance of Women with Disabilities; Knowledge Cafe; The Georgian Center for Psychosocial and Medical Rehabilitation of Torture Victims – GCRT; GrlzWave; Promote Georgia.

    On the night of May 8-9, several people, including politicians and civil society activists, were attacked by violent thugs in Tbilisi for their critical stance on the foreign agents law. At the same time, since May 7, hundreds of citizens have reported receiving phone calls from both foreign and Georgian telephone numbers, experiencing abuse and intimidation because of their opposition to the notorious law.

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