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SEC Workers Union Demands Accountability for Culture Minister Thea Tsulukiani's 'Repressive Policies'

By Liza Mchedlidze
Wednesday, January 10, 2024
The SEC Workers Union has issued a public statement, directing its concerns to the Prime Minister, the President, the Chairman of the Parliament and the Ministry of Culture of Georgia.

In their address, the union demands accountability from the Minister of Culture, Thea Tsulukiani, for alleged violations of the law under her purview. As of now, 430 people have signed this statement.

The SEC Workers Union, as stated, strongly condemns Minister Tsulukiani's oppressive and destructive policies, which they believe are harmful to Georgia's international reputation, cultural heritage, museums, scientific institutions, arts, and its people. The union categorically opposes her 'anti-national' and 'anti-social' approach.

"We, the members of the Professional Union of Science, Education, and Culture Workers of Georgia-scientists, artists, teachers, individuals employed in the field of culture, and representatives of Georgian society-strongly condemn and categorically oppose Minister Tsulukiani's repressive, purposefully destructive, anti-national, anti-social, and unqualified policies. These policies, in our view, jeopardize Georgia's international reputation, secular, religious, and prehistoric archaeological and historical cultural heritage, as well as museums, scientific institutions, theaters, cinema, opera, creative spaces, writing, art, and the well-being of the people.

The minister systematically violates fundamental human rights, the labor code, and drastically restricts the professional activities of specialists in the field of culture. Instances of harassing people and applying pressure on them are reported," the statement reads.

The SEC Workers Union is also demanding that cultural institutions be granted professional autonomy, that scientific, educational, artistic, and exhibition projects continue without interruption, that archaeological excavation permits be issued in accordance with the law, and that repressions cease. Additionally, they call for the full restoration of the rights of those employed in the field of culture.

"We demand that the minister immediately be held accountable for numerous law violations and injustices, including aggravating the condition of the wall painting of the Gelati Monastery complex, violating the labor code, insulting people employed in the field of culture, slandering them, and illegally firing hundreds of people, among others. Additionally, we call for institutions in the field of culture to be granted professional autonomy. We urge that scientific, educational, artistic, and exhibition projects continue without interruption, permits for archaeological excavations be issued in accordance with the law, repressions cease, and the rights of employees in the field of culture be fully restored," the statement reads.