MINELRES: "Multinational Georgia" press release: racism in Georgia

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Wed Jul 25 18:27:51 2007


Original sender: "Multinational Georgia" <pmmg@caucasus.net>


Press Release

On June 26, 2007 the Union "Public Movement Multinational Georgia"
received a joint declaration by residents of #23 Tabidze str.:
Pirtsxalava, Tsertsvadze, Matskepladze and Kazarian, requesting us to
pay attention to the discriminating expressions of Rezo Chkadua, owner
of a commercial unit in the same building, currently under construction,
used in address of Evgenia Kazarian (the text of the declaration is
attached).

Quotation:
Evgenia Kazarian: "- Who gave you the right? Did you ask me the
permission before starting to destroy my wall?"
Rezo Chkadua: "- I do whatever I like. Who are you? I can do whatever I
want in my Georgia."
Evgenia Kazarian: "- Georgia is mine, as well."
Rezo Chkadua: "- How is that? You are Armenian and I am Georgian. I do
whatever I like!"

Such statements made during the arguments caused by a regular communal
dispute, is an attempt and a call for discriminating the citizen of
Georgia on the ethnic basis, and includes direct indications of racial
discrimination that is against the essence of the article 14 of the
Constitution of Georgia and the article 1421 of the Criminal Code of
Georgia.

We believe that frequent use of similar expressions for the past one
year by known politicians and ordinary citizens harms our society and
the image of Georgia as a multicultural and multiethnic state, which has
mounted on the way of its democratic development. 

Taking into account that the national legislation of Georgia does not
envisage punishment for persons for their statements damaging human
rights on the ethnic basis and thus are in not facilitating prevention
of intolerance, "Multinational Georgia" held a press-conference on July
18, 2007 and presented the following initiatives:

1. We repeat that we fully agree with the essence of the statement of
the President of Georgia made on May 24, 2007 at the 2nd international
symposium "Globalisation and Dialogue among Civilisations": "I shall be
Armenian for Armenian, Azerbaijani for Azerbaijani and Georgian of
hundred per cent for Georgian". Our organisation addressed the President
of Georgia, a guarantor of observance of the Constitution, civil rights
and freedoms, with the request to pay attention to the mentioned fact,
which is not characteristic and not pardonable to the city and the
country, as a whole. 

2. Confirming our agreement to the 2nd report by the European Commission
for Fight against Racism and Racial Discrimination (ECRI) on Georgia, we
declare that "Multinational Georgia" starts to work on the draft law on
"Fight against Racism and Racial Discrimination" and calls for any
interested party to joint this initiative.

3. "Multinational Georgia" also addressed the Georgian Government with
the request to establish a special monitoring body, which will encourage
and define activities against racism and racial discrimination, as well
as identify acts of racial discrimination. In addition, the mentioned
body will provide legal assistance to the victims of racism and racial
discrimination.

The persons affected by the conflict were also present at the
press-conference.

For more information, please, contact the press service of the
"Multinational Georgia" at:
Tel: (995-32) 99 87 90
E-mail: pmmg@caucasus.net
        pmmg@pmmg.info
Address: 17 Tabukashvili str., 1st fl.

---------------------------------------


Mr. Agit Mirzoev
Executive Director
Union "Public Movement Multinational Georgia"

A p p l i c a t i o n

Allow me to approach you with the request to assist us in resolving the
problem caused by xenophobic and chauvinist attitude showed towards the
declarant  Evgenia Kazarian, residing at #23 Tabidze str., by Rezo
Chkadua, citizen of Georgia, who is building a restaurant in the same
building. 

The aforementioned person has recently bought a space in #23 Tabidze
str., and is now building the restaurant. R. Chkadua believes that the
construction incorporates installation of an exhaust pipe through the
wall of the neighbouring flat without the neighbour's permission, which,
consequently, caused a regular communal dispute. The confrontation
between the neighbours drove R. Chkadua, who might not have heard about
traditions so characteristic to Tbilisi, such as diversity, unity and
mutual respect, to use continuously xenophobic and chauvinist
expressions in address of the other neighbour, thus exerting
psychological pressure upon Kazarian during past two months.

Here is a part of one of their dialogues:
"- Who gave you the right? Did you ask me the permission before starting
to destroy my wall?
- I do whatever I like. Who are you? I can do whatever I want in my
Georgia.
- Georgia is mine, as well.
- How is that? You are Armenian and I am Georgian. I do whatever I
like!"

Despite the fact that we have called a patrol police several times, who
also witnessed such dialogues, Chkadua continues to show the attitude
and use pressure totally unacceptable and incomprehensive for any
citizen of Tbilisi and normal person.

We are extremely annoyed by the mentioned fact, as well as by impunity
of a person and inability of the government to react to such situations.

Your organisation remains our last resort to address for help.

We remain truly hopeful of your assistance.

Sincerely yours,

Residents of Tabidze str.
                                                                                
26.06.2007

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