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Intolerance to be prosecuted

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, March 28
There have been new amendments announced in the criminal code of Georgia. The punishment for crimes committed on racial, religious, ethnic, or similar grounds will be increased. Georgian legislators are ready to adopt this amendment so as to better comply with the requirements of Western countries. Some of the NGOs participating in the process of drafting the new article hope to include such items as sexual orientation, gender identity, and political views.

There is a bit of irony in these new protections, as they are no guarantee that political differences will be tolerated, and free and fair elections held.

The new amendments are probably necessary thanks to the response from some quarters about the reconstruction of the Aziz Mosque in Batumi. So, by introducing and making stricter the laws about intolerance, the administration is trying to take some preventive measures in this direction.

Some analysts, however, think differently. The new amendments may provoke more aggression in the country. Generally speaking, the plan to re-build the Aziz Mosque is not understood by the local population as a means of helping minorities. Unfortunately, the mosque may trigger regrettable anti-Turkish sentiments, an especially sad fact considering our excellent relations with Turkey.