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Parliament approved new regulations over terrorism

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Tuesday, June 16
The Parliament of Georgia adopted new regulations on June 12. Adoptions included criminalized calls for violent actions and a broadening of the scope and range of offenses and other activities linked to participation in illegal armed groups, also traveling abroad and an attempt to go abroad for the purpose of terrorism.

According to the amendments, new articles will be added to the Criminal Code of Georgia.

The bill states that calls for violent actions made verbally, in written or through other forms of expression aiming to cause discord between racial, religious, national, ethnic, social, linguistic or other groups and creating an obvious, direct and substantive threat is punishable either with fines or community service from 200 to 400 hours.

However, if the offense results in loss of life or other grave consequences an offender will face imprisonment from two to five years, while if the offence is committed by a legal entity, it will carry liquidation of such entity or depriving it the right to operate as a punishment, along with a financial penalty.

Also, another amendment reads that the dissemination or use of information materials and/or symbols related to membership and/or participation in an illegal formation, and if this action creates an obvious, direct and substantive threat it will be punishable with up to three years in jail.

The bill explains that the measures should be applied in connection to those armed formations that are not controlled by state structures. According to officials, provision was added in order to make it more explicit that the bill will not apply to Georgian citizens fighting on the Ukrainian side in eastern Ukraine.

Also, according to the bill, going abroad or attempting to go abroad for the purpose of carrying out, preparing of and participating in terrorist activities or for the purpose of terrorist training punishable by 6 to 9 years imprisonment. It also envisages the criminalization of calls for terrorism or voicing public support for terrorism if such calls create an obvious, direct and substantive threat of carry out terrorism activities.

According to Parliament Spokesperson Davit Usupashvili, the bill discussion process was very interesting and productive.