According to the Democracy Research Institute, forced expulsion of journalists from the hall of the Legal Affairs Committee, unjustified restrictions on the movement demonstrators and violation of legal procedures at the Legal Affairs Committee sitting on December 12 contradict the principles and values of a democratic and equality-based state.
Unjustified restrictions on journalistic activities
Media outlets reported that one of the journalists was forcibly removed from the Parliament hall by a person dressed in plain clothes. The Democracy Research Institute notes that the Georgian Parliament has a special service to maintain order in the legislative body. Any arbitrariness committed by unauthorized persons is categorically inadmissible and needs to be responded by the relevant authorities.
Non-transparent procedures and unjustified restrictions on citizens' rights
The sitting of the Legal Affairs Committee was conducted with procedural violations; inter alia, the voting procedure was not observed.
At the same time, the Democracy Research Institute calls on the Parliament to examine the statements made by certain individuals and demonstrators, according to which, they were unjustifiably refused by the police to enter the Parliament building, as they had obtained the relevant permit.
Evaluation of developments
The Democracy Research Institute notes that journalistic activity is protected by the Georgian law and its unjustified restriction is inadmissible.
It is also important that the opposing parties take effective steps to de-escalate the situation and reach an agreement on any key issues through dialogue.
DRI submitted opinions to the Legal Issues Committee of the Parliament of Georgia, parliamentary factions and political groups relating to the legislative amendments drafted by the ruling party in relation to the anti-corruption agency.
The Democracy Research Institute addressed the parliamentary factions and representatives of political groups with recommendations relating to the judicial reform.