Joint Statement of Civil Society Organizations9 March, 2023
Photo: Guram Muradov, Civil.ge
We express our gratitude to the young people, women, workers, scientists, teachers, doctors, cultural and sports figures, winemakers, entrepreneurs, farmers, and all those who stand on the right side of history and express their will in the face of government oppression and violence! The unwavering struggle of the Georgian public against the adoption of the Russian law and the deviation from the European path has yielded the first positive outcome.
On March 7th, 78 members of the Georgian Parliament's majority supported the Russian law targeting the Georgian people in the first reading. According to statements of all of Georgia's international partners, this law is a big wall between Georgia and the European Union, and discussing it in parliament violates the dignity of all citizens and constitutes an anti-constitutional step, as confirmed by the President of Georgia.
The adoption of this law in the first reading was a direct continuation of the government's anti-Western campaigns and the constant delegitimization of European institutions.
We want to inform the public that there is no procedure for recalling a draft law that has been passed in the first reading. The only available option is to reject it in the plenary session. The parliament must vote on it again and reject it, while the initiators of the second version of the Russian draft law, which has not been voted on, must officially withdraw it. This action would constitute an official apology to the people of Georgia.
Therefore, we demand the following:
- Parliament immediately convene a plenary session to vote on the Russian law and officially reject it.
- The immediate release of all detainees who were protesting in the streets to defend Georgia’s European future and against the law that undermines the dignity of Georgia and its people.
The statement is open to any organization and media that wishes to join.