Creative Act with Patriot03.11.2010 | 17:37
Georgian parliament is set to adopt Freedom Charter that will unite deputy Giya Tortladze's creative ideas on rejection of Soviet symbols under the title "Patriot Act". Formally the document is supposed to ensure state security. In essence it will give a free hand to the authorities to impose totalitarianism using Russian threat as a cover.
Giya Tortladze is the protagonist at the latest session of Georgian parliament. Over the past few years the leader of opposition Strong Georgia faction in parliament has proposed a number of drafts to make Georgians march like soldiers. Now it's his Freedom Charter adopted in the first reading to become an undisputable success in parliament. It is an extraordinary case: an opposition idea found a ready response in the hearts of the dominant majority. But, on the other hand, Tortladze is not a common oppositionist.
Freedom Charter unites two documents: a bill On Lustration and the Patriot Act.
The former contains the list of positions that can't be offered to security officers that worked at the time of the USSR, or leaders of the Communist Party and Komsomol. Ex Soviet functionaries are denied access to the president's administration, to parliament and government, National Security Council, state higher educational institutions, statistics department, state TV and radio channels.
The Patriot Act is basically an instruction how to live in a totalitarian state. The document is based on the idea of the Interior Ministry's total control over people's activities, businesses and public structures.
The opposition did not allow Tortladze to push these laws through to parliament individually. Now, however, they are most likely to be a success: they will be adopted in a set, without specific problems. Since the authorities of the republic are obsessed with the idea to "tighten the screws". They are full of enthusiasm to accept this proposal, albeit made by their political opponents.
What's the secret of Giya Tortladze's success? He is the only opposition figure whose law-making work is approved by the ruling majority. Manana Nachkebia, a New Rights party leader calls his faction Strong Georgia "quasi" opposition. "This is a special kind of opposition that somehow supports authorities. They are pocket politicians", - Nachkebia said in an interview with GeorgiaTimes.
Freedom Charter and the Patriot Act reached parliament with most flattering characteristics: allegedly, they are supposed to ensure the end of encroachment on the country's security, extermination of terrorism and antistate crimes".
Still, Manana Nachkebia is sure that these big words are nothing but a cover. "The document's primary objective is to take everything that Georgian people and each person do under control. Our country has long been living in a totalitarian regime. Adoption of this document will be the first step for turning Georgia into a totalitarian state", - the New Rights leader thinks. For instance, the Patriot Act envisages control of financial operations carried out by the population, - naturally, for the sake of state security and general well-being. Under the law the Anti-terrorist center at the Interior Ministry will be able to control large operations only (above GEL 10,000 (nearly USD 6,000)). In reality, the Ministry of Interior will easily find common language with bankers and will be given access to information on bank accounts of common people, entrepreneurs, NGOs.
In fact the parliament that has adopted the Freedom Charter only in first reading so far fails to keep pace with life: the provisions of the charter have long been used in the republic without any legislative basis.
Presently a new spy scandal involving "unreliable" Armenians is unfolding in Georgia. The propaganda mouthpiece of authorities and Rustavi-2 TV channel have announced heroism of Georgian special services who have exposed a crafty conspiracy of the Russian spy network. This is a typical illustration to the Patriot Act that stipulates preventive measures in order to ensure national security.
Activities of international humanitarian organizations are under control too within rigid frames of the Patriot Act. The question is why European organizations must be patriots of Georgia...
Maybe skeptics misunderstand all this? Maybe in reality shadowing and control is Georgia's new step toward Western standards? David Darchiashvili, a leader of the parliament majority tried to prove that the Charter is quite in line with the values of European democracy in an interview with GeorgiaTimes.
"This document determines ways to ensure national security, control money flows that might belong to terrorist groups. But all details will be discussed in second reading. The control over cash assets has intensified considerably in European countries. Our next reading of the bill will focus on combining national security requirements and civil freedoms in Georgia", - Darchiashvili explains.