16 June 2024,   01:04
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Equally worrying remains the apparent impunity for reported acts of intimidation, disproportional use of force, stigmatising narratives against civil society organisations - Secretary General of CoE

Equally worrying remains the apparent impunity for reported acts of intimidation, disproportional use of force, stigmatising narratives against civil society organisations, reads the statement, released by the Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić.

“I strongly deplore today’s decision by the Parliament of Georgia to overrule the President’s veto and proceed with the final endorsement of the law “on transparency of foreign influence” in its current form, despite criticism by international partners as to its incompatibility with European standards.

By taking this step, the Georgian authorities regrettably gave up an ultimate occasion to withdraw this bill and refused to engage in meaningful dialogue, disregarding the unequivocal recommendations by the Venice Commission, whose authoritative legal opinions reflect our democratic standards.

Hence, I am deeply concerned as to the law’s adverse impact on informed public debate, pluralism, and democratic checks and balances, which could potentially jeopardise also the environment for free and fair elections.

Equally worrying remains the apparent impunity for reported acts of intimidation, disproportional use of force and stigmatising narratives against civil society organisations, civil activists and peaceful protestors. These acts must be investigated without delay and those responsible for rights abuses should be held accountable, in view of discouraging such practices that have no place in a democratic society.

The Council of Europe remains fully supportive of the Georgian people’s European aspirations”, - reads the statement.

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