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NGOs dislike bill over MIA

By Messenger Staff
Friday, June 26
Parliament has discussed a bill over the planned division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs that envisages the separation of the security structure from the ministry and its formation as an independent body.

The bill pushed forward by the government concerns the creation of a separate agency, the State Security Service, from August 1.

Deputy Interior Minister Levan Izoria claims that the plan is also in line with the Georgian Dream ruling coalition’s pre-election promise to separate security agencies from the Interior Ministry, leaving in the latter police functions.

Among some other units, counter-terrorism center; counter-intelligence; anti-corruption agency; operative-technical department, which is the eavesdropping agency in charge of surveillance operations, and special operations department will be separated from the Interior Ministry to form the State Security Service.

A candidate for the head of the State Security Service will be selected by Prime Minister and after approval by the government members, nomination will be submitted to the Parliament for confirmation.

More than 50 laws are likely to be amended if the draft sees its future.

A candidate will need the support of at least 76 lawmakers in the 150-seat Parliament.

NGOs are not against the separation. However, they stressed that the offered draft is just a superficial proposal, lacking levers for systemic changes.

NGOs stress that the security bodies have a right to obtain various information without the court’s consent that might create threats in the case of a hasty reform.

The NGOs appeal to the legislative body not to support the bill until it is fully cleared.

The opposition United National Movement ( UNM) also states that the “ formal separation” might be used by the government for the political suppression of its opponents.

Whether the parliament takes the NGOs appeal into account or not time will show.