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Lawyers call to keep Saakashvili in Georgia2011-03-04 19:57
If the European Union views itself as a democratic alliance, then president of Georgia and some of his ministers must not be allowed in the territory of Europe, as proposed by the Association of Lawyers concerned over persecutions against its members. People that try to defend human rights are taken to prison while Mikheil Saakashvili keeps advertising wonderful democracy in Georgia.
The Association of Lawyers of Georgia calls on the EU not to allow Mikheil Saakashvili and his ministers to Europe. Soviet tyrants Yagoda, Beria and Ezhov all together did not send so many Georgian lawyers to prison as has the current regime over the past seven years, Zaza Khatiashvili, the chair of the organization states.
Persecutions against lawyers organized by the authorities have recently been confirmed by the European Professional Association whose representatives visited Georgia at the end of last year and called president Saakashvili to release the lawyers detained for political reasons, as well as open cases on illegal persecutions on the part of the police. Khatiashvili passed this petition together with a set of materials for each case to parliament. There has been no reaction ever since.
Other rights-defending organizations of Europe where Georgian lawyers resorted to with complaints refuse to interfere. According to Khatiashvili, they don't want to spoil relations with Georgian government.
Nonetheless, head of the Association of lawyers didn't give up and submitted his address to EU president Jose Manuel Barroso presenting a detailed description of persecutions and persuading the EU to announce Mikheil Saakaashvili, interior minister Vano Merabishvili, justice minister Zurab Adeashvili, chair of supreme court Kota Kublashvili and minister for punishment execution as persone non grate.
No doubt, this demand will be supported by all lawyers of Georgia, since they get license to carry out professional activity in the country only as members of the Association. Gela Nikoleishvili known for a series of scandalous lawsuits thinks the address to Barroso is absolutely fair.
- 111 lawyers have been sentenced to prison under Saakashvili's government. This is a serious figure, - he said in a conversation with GeorgiaTimes. - Other dozens of cases are being investigated; the accused lawyers are under arrest. Nearly 200 people are incarcerated at the moment. I can't say that each of them has been pursued for political reasons. Some of them did commit crimes. But there are several dozens of cases when lawyers came to harm through their work, for protection of human rights.