This statement is in response to the document published on the official website of the Khulo Municipality – "Report by the "Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia” Khulo Municipal Sakrebulo faction chairperson on the implemented activities” – which contains hate speech and Armenophobic statements.
Specifically, Armenian ethnicity is attributed to the former President of Georgia and the present Governor of Odessa Oblast Mikheil Saakashvili in the negative context:
'Armenian Saaka has enough brains to watch from aside the case of Zurab Zhvania whom he murdered, the case of guiltlessly shot Aprasidzes, the case of Guram Sharadze dishonorably murdered in the street, also the cases of about 150 guys killed in the streets, the case of blowing up the father at his own son’s grave. The so called Navtlughi Operation case when 3 people from our district were killed without any guilt, which one should I list!'...„Today Saaka is doing something according to America’s bidding, but in the end he is doing Russia’s work."
'As if the Georgians’ troubles were not enough, now this swine is poking Ukraine with his dirty snout.'
We believe that by placing Armenophobic and hate speech statements of the faction chairman from the ruling political team of the Georgian Dream on the website of an official agency, the Khulo Sakrebulo helps the strengthening of xenophobia and hate, when belonging to a certain ethnicity is presented as something shameful.
The Georgian law on theElimination of All Forms of Discriminationobliges national agencies:
a) bring its activity, legal acts and internal regulations, if any, into conformity with this Law and other anti-discrimination legislation;
b) respond promptly and efficiently to any alleged act of discrimination;
c) if an act of discrimination is confirmed, impose liability on offenders under its control according to the legislation of Georgia and internal regulations, and ensure that the consequences of discrimination are eliminated without prejudice to the rights and legitimate interests of third persons.
Georgia is also a member of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, various documentsadopted by which condemn and consider unethical using xenophobic elements in political statements (see, for instance, the Commission’s Declaration from 17 March 2005).
We call on the Chairperson of the Khulo Municipality Sakrebulo:
- Torespond promptly and efficiently on this incident in accordance with the law on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination and to delete the xenophobic and hate speech content from the website;
- For the Sakrebulo to develop internal regulations which will prevent such cases and support implementation of the anti-discrimination policy.
- We call on the Public Defender:
- To study and react on this fact within his mandate.
- We call on the Georgian Dream political coalition:
- To react on this instance of xenophobia with internal party mechanisms.
Georgian Democracy Initiative, GDI
Media Development Foundation, MDF
Georgia’s Reforms Associates, GRASS
Tolerance and Diversity Institute, TDI
Georgian Young Lawyers Association, GYLA
Transparency International - Georgia, TI
Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center,EMC