Polish-Georgian Parliamentary Group

Polish-Georgian Parliamentary Group  – concerning the situation in Georgia.The Polish-Georgian Parliamentary Group has been supporting the European aspirations of the Georgian nation for many years. The parliamentary elections of 2012, their course and the form of handing over the power have shown that Georgia is serious about this direction. With full appreciation of what has been done so far, we cannot pretend not to see actions of the ruling coalition which are directed against the activity of the democratic opposition and, in our opinion, strongly diverge from the European standards.

This is why, in connection with the upcoming Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius, the Polish-Georgian Parliamentary Group calls on the government of the Republic of Poland and other governments of EU Member States to take resolute measures to stop human right violations in Georgia. The European Union should pay attention to the attitude of new democracies, aspiring to participate in its structures, to such matters as democracy and observance of human rights, with particular focus on the situation of arrested people and prison inmates.

In the last months, many politicians of the opposition party United National Movement have been imprisoned, including the former Prime Minister of Georgia, Mr Vano Merabishvili. The quality of the accumulated evidence should be assessed by the competent Georgian court, but the restrictive measures taken against Mr Vano Merabishvili during the pre-trial proceedings call for a stern and resolute reaction.

As far as we know, before he was detained Mr Vano Merabishvili had been interrogated many times during the investigation proceedings and he had always appeared when summoned. What is more, he had gone abroad many times during that period. In a mature democratic state such behaviour of a suspect is a sufficient reason for not using this kind of drastic preventive measures. Total isolation from the outside world, absolute ban on any contacts with the family (including via telephone) can be considered too harsh a repression against the suspect. Such actions give the impression of revenge, and the restrictions applied can be considered a form of mental torture, which is against the provisions of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

It is our civilizational duty to support the development of democracy, particularly in states aspiring to EU membership. Georgia is such a country. This is why, while supporting it on its way to integration into European structures, we must also demand that the fundamental standards of democracy as well as civil rights and freedoms be respected.