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Pardon Commission has a new head

By Natalie Osipovi
Wednesday, November 27
President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili announced some changes to the composition of the Pardon Committee on November 26th. Journalist Alexander Elisashvili replaced Elene Tevdoradzein at the post of the chairman of the commission.

Only three members will remain in the commission. They are Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili, writer Givi Shakhnazari and Metropolitan Theodore. The new members of the commission include the chairman of Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) Kakha Kozhoridze, the lawyer and the head of The Human Rights Priority Lia Mukhashavria, former chairman of GYLA Tamar Khidasheli, executive director of the Transparency International Georgia Eka Gigauri, writers Basa Janikashvili and Kote Jandieri, member of the Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics Zviad Koridze and psychotherapist Tea Gogotishvili.

Meeting with the new members of the commission, President Margvelashvili thanked them for agreeing on such important and difficult work. Margvelashvili mentioned that each member of the commission has been selected because of the public trust towards them, and their sense of humanitarianism.

“We also took into account that none of them is connected to any political party.” Margvelashvili added.

According to Elisashvili, the commission will hold its first meeting in the near future and the first list of pardoned prisoners will be made public at the end of this year.

According to the chairperson of the Parliament's Human's Right Committee, Eka Beselia, the committee’s work is quite specific and involves a large amount of responsibility. This is why it is important to have “politically neutral” members. "They should also be experienced in workingwith prisoners and human rights.” Beselia said.

Member of Parliament Zviad Kvachantiradze has a similar position. He said the public has become tired of Mikheil Saakashvili and people connected to his name. Referring to the former commission chairperson Elene Tevdoradze, Kvachantiradze said “it is the president’s prerogative to change the make-up of the commission if he thinks it needs some changes.”