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Arrests prompt US concerns over democracy in Georgia

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, September 15
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze The U.S. Department of State is concerned about the risk that politicized prosecutions pose for Georgia’s democracy. This statement was made on September 12. The Georgian Dream coalition denied this, while the United National Movement continues to accuse the government of political persecutions.

The statement voiced by the U.S. State Department’s Deputy Spokesperson, Marie Harf, reads that the United States urges all of Georgia’s pro-democracy and pro-Euro-Atlantic forces to focus on common interests, build on recent achievements, work together to move the country forward and address the significant economic and regional security challenges of the day.

The statement, which is called “In Support of Georgia's Multiparty Democracy and Euro-Atlantic Future”, also says: “We are concerned by the continued investigations and criminal charges against opposition figures and the risks that politicized prosecutions pose for Georgia’s democracy. The United States continues to support Georgia’s democratic development, which must include respect for political pluralism and open debate,” it reads.

Member of the Georgian Dream Viktor Dolidze stated that he could not accept the statement. He stressed that the position might have been related to the United National Movement leaders’ current visit to the United States, meaning Davit Bakradze and Giga Bokeria. Dolidze stated that opposing the government must not be carried out by damaging the country’s image.

“We also were in opposition. However, we would never hinder our country’s strategic interests,” Dolidze said.

Parliament Speaker Davit Usupashvili admitted that justice should be restored and politics should not become a shelter for criminals.

Responding to the statements, UNM member Davit Darchiashvili suggested that the current government members made very unqualified assessments.

He stressed that the U.S. Department of State never makes superficial statements.

“All their statements are based on a thorough studying of the case,” Darchiashvili said.