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NGOs dislike reform demanded by them

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, July 1
Parliament Speaker Davit Usupashvili has appealed to all interested individuals and organizations to get involved in the discussions related to the Interior Ministry Reform.

The statement came after the parliament’s approval of the bill that envisages the separation of the security section from the Interior ministry.

Usupashvili stresses that there are critics of the bill, who revealed their positions without putting any merit in the draft refinement.

He stressed that the parliament readings are targeted for cleaning up any shortcomings from any draft and addressed to those opposing the bill to take part in the discussions rather than to criticize it from the backstage.

The security and police departments of the ministry were merged under the previous government.

The UNM government empowered the law-enforcement bodies and practically created a regime based on a police system.

The body has been actively used in dispersing rallies or in fights against political opponents. Thousands of video-audio files were revealed under the current government depicting horrible videos of torture and inhuman treatment under the United National Movement government that were publicly burnt/ destroyed.

It was the promise of the current government during their election campaign to transform the MIA and create an unbiased system through democratic reforms.

NGOs have always supported such systemic modifications and the splitting of the ministry.

However, now they are against the adoption of the law, as according to them the bill is superficial, lacking levers for genuine changes.

The human rights groups argue that the scope of the planned security agency’s authority should only be analytical and have intelligence gathering functions, because giving security agencies the right to carry out law enforcement tasks would pose a risk of abuse of power and duplication of traditional police activities.

A separate agency, the State Security Service, should be set up from August 1, according to the government-proposed bill if it is confirmed.

Among some other units, counter-terrorism center; counter-intelligence; anti-corruption agency; operational-technical department, which is eavesdropping agency in charge of surveillance operations, and special operations department will be separated from the Interior Ministry to form the State Security Service.

Through the bill, the PM should name the head of the agency and the candidate will be sent to parliament for confirmation after the government’s approval.

A candidate will need the support of at least 76 lawmakers in the 150-seat parliament.

Two more readings in parliament are ahead. Time will show as to what extent the legislative body will take the NGOs appeals into account.