Campaign “This Affects You Too” disseminates a statement regarding interrogating population in regions

19 Mar, 2012


On March 12 Financial Monitoring Service of the Chamber of Control of Georgia started interrogation of local population in various cities of Georgia (Lanchkhuti, Chokhatauri, Ozurgeti, Batumi, Khelvachauri, Kobuleti, Poti, Zugdidi, Kutaisi, Zestaponi, Gori, Kareli, Kaspi, Gurjaani, Sagarejo, Sighnaghi).

Non-governmental and media organizations united in “This Affects You Too” Campaign responded to this fact on March 15 and made a preliminary legal assessment of these cases.

At the press-conference organizers presented video materials broadcasted by media demonstrating that while the interrogation citizens were treated offensively being exerted moral and psychological pressure. Journalists had no possibility to enter administrative premises due to all-round security.

Below is the statement made at the press-conference presented by a member of the Campaign Ms. Nino Lomjaria:

“On March 12 -14 Financial Monitoring Service of the Chamber of Control of Georgia conducted mass interrogation of members of different political parties, volunteers and other citizens in various municipalities of Georgia (Lanchkhuti, Chokhatauri, Ozurgeti, Batumi, Khelvachauri, Kobuleti, Poti, Zugdidi, Kutaisi, Zestaponi, Gori, Kareli, Kaspi, Gurjaani, Sagarejo, Sighnaghi). In total more than 150 people were interrogated.

Campaign “This Affects You Too” assesses negatively facts of physical and psychological pressure, intimidation and menacing of citizens used by representatives of Chamber of Control during the interrogation. We believe that:

  •          Actions of the Chamber of Control that by their own explanation are oriented on the financial transparency of political parties in reality have feasible signs of persecution of citizens with diverse political opinions.
  •           In their actions representatives of Chamber of Control went beyond their authority too. In particular, among questions put by the Service representatives to     the citizens were the ones not only about finances, but also re details of their political activity and reasons of their cooperation with specific political party. 
  •          The summoned citizens encountered problems with attending a lawyer. There was a fact of physical and verbal insult of a lawyer whereupon he was not admitted to attend the interrogation process.
  •          Journalists were hindered to perform their professional duties.
  •           CCG representatives did not provide citizens with enough information about the offence and against whom was litigation started. In addition, during the interrogation there occurred a number of facts of offensive treatment of citizens.

We believe that manner, duration (in most cases up to 6 hours), asked questions, insulting way of interrogation, menacing, pressure used by representatives of Chamber of Control are more aimed at intimidating people than investigating illegal financial activities of political parties. Actions of the kind especially in the election year would definitely spread fear among citizens in regard to the involvement in civil and political activities and deteriorate pre-election environment in the country”.


Media materials


On February 13, non-governmental organizations working on electoral issues and media entities formally launched This Affects You Too campaign, which aims to improve the electoral legislation and environment.  As part of the campaign, around 170 NGOs and media entities, as well as 1500 individuals, signed a petition calling for amendments to the electoral legislation.  The petition was presented to Parliament on February 17 along with a package of legislative proposals.

On February 23, non-governmental and media organizations met with the population in 7 districts of Tbilisi and 8 cities of Georgia as part of the This Affects to You Too  campaign to increase their awareness on recently adopted amendments to electoral legislation. During the meeting they informed citizens about the restrictions imposed by law. Participants of the campaign distributed materials with respective information among citizens.  They informed people on possible consequences of the amendments. During the meetings, citizens signed the petition. On March 1, representatives of organizations authors of the legislative proposal met representatives of Legal Issues Committee of the Parliament. On March 2, members of the campaign organized a round-table meeting in order to inform diplomatic corps, international organizations and political parties about drafted by them legislative proposal. At the bureau meeting on March 5 David Bakradze stated that addition to the legislation will be made so that not to limit activities of NGOs and international organizations. On March 7 campaign responded to Mr. Bakradze’s statement saying that such an addition is indispensable, but not enough. On March 9 an appeal for inviting OSCE/ODIHR long-term Election Observation Mission to Georgia was submitted to the Administration of the President, Parliament and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.