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How often do you hear xenophobic comments in Georgia and should those ones who use such expressions be punished or not?

Thursday, August 25
“Fortunately, such expressions are not frequent among ordinary citizens, however it is regrettable, that Georgian officials and some others, who are well known in society and to whom we have to listen frequently make such statements, which is not only an insult for those, to whom they are targeted, they are shameful for the whole state, as Georgia has never insulted and maltreated some other nations or religious groups.”
Tamar, Teacher, 52

“It is an interesting question and some public polls should be carried out to understand Georgians’ attitude and opinion regarding the issue. One of the greatest Georgian art representatives has been dismissed for making xenophobic statements, which were not xenophobic at all, when our President uses such terminology all the time.”
Nodar, Musician, 34

“Not very often, however it is not nice when somebody is insulted due to some characteristic. Everyone should avoid such expressions and try to avoid others irritation. If someone frequently uses such terms, he/she should be punished, should be dismissed from the post he takes, or some administrative punishment should be carried out.”
Zurab, Economist, 29

“I often hear xenophobic statements everywhere around me but we all have used to such things in our everyday lives. I don’t approve of any strict measures against any kind of xenophobia because in the democratic society everyone can say and do whatever he/she likes.”
Nino, Journalist, 31

“How can everyone be punished for their xenophobic expressions when you can hear such statements everywhere… I think it is quite unrealistic to punish someone for this terminology.”
Lili, Teacher, 29

“Well actually I’m a radical xenophobe myself – Georgia for Georgians, that’s all that I can say.”
Guram Surgeon, 24

“Such expressions are quite common and if they are heard somewhere they are most likely accidental rather than deliberate. That’s why it would be hard to punish an average citizen for such statements because you can’t change his/her mentality. I can say the same about the arts people: the most acceptable form of protest would be the rejection of their art not the radical punishment… while the xenophobic expressions made by the political figures should by all means be condemned by the media and society because the state authorities should be reserved with their speeches – they shouldn’t say whatever comes to their minds.”
Shalva, Reporter, 26

“I generally don’t welcome xenophobia which expresses “hatred” towards a particular nation. I appreciate each person for his/her activities - not the nationality. But at present I am quite satisfied with the situation in our country.”
Gizo, NGO, 31