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Freedom Charter versus spies and communists24.03.2010 | 09:40
This week, the Georgian parliament is going to consider the draft Freedom Charter containing the Lustration Law and the Patriotic Act. The former is aimed at disclosing the Soviet agents and supporters of the communism, while the latter is expected to enhance control over the special services for the purpose of the state security. All the pros and cons of the draft law have been commented upon by GeorgiaTimes supporters.
The parliament of the country has taken the decision to consider the Freedom Charter initiated by the Strong Georgia fraction delegate Gia Tortladze. The author has submitted the document to the colleagues a long time ago but they have not got down to it so far. As Chairman of Legal Committee Pavle Kublashvili told GHN, this fact was attributed to the business trips of some of the delegates.
As GeorgiaTimes reported earlier, the idea of combining the two laws that were criticized by the non-parliament opposition under one beautiful title came to Tortladze last December.
The Patriotic Act specifies the events that should protect Georgia against the terrorists. The document repeats many provisions of a similar law adopted in the USA after the attack against the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. The law implies, for instance, the monitoring of the bank transfers exceeding 10 thousand laris by the MIA Anti-Terrorist Center. The opposition, which often gets money from abroad, is very much dissatisfied with the fact.
According to the draft law, MIA is to equip the airports, sea ports, railway stations, the underground system, strategic bridges, electric power stations and other places with the video-surveillance cameras. This will also enhance the state control over the citizens.
The draft Lustration Law, in its turn, specifies the list of the posts prohibiting the appointment of the USSR State Security officials, leaders of the communist parties and Komsomol. These are primarily the high posts of the president's administration, the parliament and government office, National Security Council, State Higher Educational Institutions, Statistics Department, and state television and radio channels.
The initial draft of this law was developed in autumn 2005 by the parliament of the previous convocation. The initiative came from the Republican Party and the Conservatives, whom Gia Tortladze used to support. The authors used the experience of the countries of the East Europe, the Czech Republic and Lithuania.
The combination of these two draft laws called the Freedom Charter resembles Orwell's oxymoron, the inscription at the Ministry of Truth (minitrue) that went as follows: "War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is power". It is strange that the document restricting the rights of the Georgian citizens bears the same name as the declaration of the African tribes who wanted to get free from colonial slavery. However, the author of the document Gia Tortladze does not see any contradictions here.
- The law is criticized, although no one has read it yet. I believe that there should be a legislative form in Georgia that would protect the country from the external enemies. This concerns very important issues of the state security, - the delegated stated in his interview to GeorgiaTimes.
- Some of the experts, for instance, former Foreign Minister Irakli Menagarishvili believe that the Lustration Law is late for several years and the Baltic States passed such laws at the beginning of the 90s.
- Yes, I agree that the law is late and should have been passed earlier when Menagarishvili was member of the government. However, at that time, the country was led by Shevardnadze who was a KGB official, while I tried to promote this initiative since my first day in parliament.
- Will the law have any effect now? Are there many people from the Soviet special services and the communist party who are still in power? Will they confess their position voluntarily?
- They are no longer in power, although there are some of them who are still working. However, we must take care that they never come to power. According to the law, it will be a free-will confession and a refusal to assume office. The names will be kept in secret then. However, if someone refuses to cooperate with the special commission, his name will be revealed and the lists will be published. This concerns all the leaders of the communist party and Komsomol. They will be able to run in the local elections but the electors will learn about these facts of their biography.
- The opposition fears lest the Patriotic Act will be used to track down the citizens.
- No, it will not be used for that. These people did not read the draft law. It does not imply any telephone wiretaps, and there is no control over the Internet correspondence.
- And what does it imply, then?