The Georgian Far-right through the Lens of Freedom of Expression

Nino Kvirikashvili[1]

[The blog is published with the financial support of the Open Society Georgia Foundation. The views, opinions and statements expressed by the authors and those providing comments are theirs only and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Foundation. Therefore, the Open Society Georgia Foundation is not responsible for the content of the information material]. 

Freedom of expression is a main pillar of democratic societies and is protected by the Constitution of Georgia. Far-right groups in Georgia actively use their right to free speech to publicly express their beliefs and ideas. However, in some cases their actions not only limit the right to free speech and assembly of other groups, especially minorities, they sometimes even turn violent. In certain circumstances state institutions fail to ensure the equal right to exercise freedom of speech and assembly for all citizens. Moreover, in cases when the aforementioned right is restricted, the grounds for doing so is not always substantiated clearly and comprehensively. As a result, groups of citizens are deprived of the ability to fully exercise their right to freedom of expression. This poses a serious problem for democratic development.

On the one hand, far-right groups continuously attempt to limit the right to free speech and expression of the groups they find unacceptable. Whereas on the other hand, in response to the actions of the far-right groups the government on certain occasions limits the same right of some citizens for the protection of their safety, without substantiating the grounds for restriction. The two aforementioned factors contribute to the unequal exercise of the right to free speech and expression by citizens.

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