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NGOs concerned about restrictions

By Messenger Staff
Friday, October 4
The Georgian parliament has proposed certain restrictive legislation. One such piece of legislation concerns the use of Georgian as an official language. Another piece of proposed legislation concerns the entry and exit of Georgian citizens to and from Georgia. NGOs have become concerned about this proposed legislation because it might restrict people from leaving the country freely.

Analysts think that the wording of the proposed law is vague, unclear and gives an opportunity for different interpretation. The Georgian lawmakers who created the proposed law believe it poses no threat to ordinary citizens. They insist that the proposed law is in the interests of state security and would only prohibit those facing criminal charges from leaving the country. However, MPs have agreed to meet and discuss the issue with representatives of various NGOs.

Representatives of the Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) have criticized the parliamentary initiative, describing it as unconstitutional and in violation of international human rights. NGOs think that if the law is adopted it could give ordinary bureaucrats the right to decide who can enter and leave the country. Furthermore, citizens will not receive an explanation about these restrictions.

NGOs think that such legislation must be adopted with care because Georgia has a history of human rights abuse. Such legislation might hinder the country's democratic development.

Note: As of the afternoon of October 3rd, Parliament has stopped discussing the proposed law.