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New organization established at Public Defender’s office

By Mzia Kupunia
Wednesday, October 1
A new public organization called “The Movement for Freedom and Justice” has been founded in the Public Defender’s office. The organization, which counts NGOs, opposition political representatives and journalists among its members, aims to promote and establish the rule of law in Georgia.

Speaking at its press presentation its founder, Georgian Public Defender Sozar Subari, stressed that the organisation is non-political and will not participate in any elections.

Subari released a manifesto signed by the members of the new organisation. An eight-page document describes the situation in the country in respect of human rights and democracy. It says Georgia is governed in an “incorrect,” “authoritarian” manner that has led to the recent unfortunate developments with Russia, and also suggests that further problems will occur if nothing changes. Private property abuses, pressure being applied to courts and the media, pressure being put on people who express dissenting opinions and the concentration of power in the hands of a small group of political leaders are the chief concerns raised in the manifesto.

Nino Jangirashvili, Director of independent TV Company Kavkasia, is among the people who signed the manifesto. She said she had several reasons for joining the Movement for Freedom and Justice. “The main reason is that I support the defence of human rights and democratic principles in our country. I am a journalist, but I am also a citizen of Georgia, and for me, as a citizen and a journalist, democratic development in my country is of crucial importance.”

Jangirashvili said that Kavkasia had been pressured by the Government, but this was not the time to complain about individual private concerns. “The general situation in the country is the most important thing at this stage. There is no democracy in the country. Right now we are not facing a possible catastrophe, the catastrophe has already happened,” Jangirashvili said.

Actress Nineli Chankvetadze had her own reasons for entering the Movement. She said society should not stay silent about the human rights problems they face. “Everyone should speak up. I do not know exactly what the Movement will achieve, but I believe it will bring some changes,” Chankvetadze said.

Paata Zakareishvili from the Republican Party also thinks the public voice is an important medium for achieving positive change. Zakareishvili said the unity of different political forces is crucial. “Society is divided into small groups. Establishing a non-political public organization will enable different political forces to unite around shared principles and form a common position on some vital issues,” he said. “Society should see that it is possible to unite. Creating a public organization will persuade people that it is possible to achieve a desired goal,” Zakareishvili said.