Discussion in Gurjaani

On February 1, 2014, NGO Georgian Democracy Initiative held a discussion for journalists in the press club of the Information Center of Kakheti in Gurjaani. The topic of the discussion was tolerance and the prohibition of discrimination.

The discussion was led by a specialist of human rights law and member of the board of Georgian Democracy Initiative, Giorgi Mshvenieradze, theologian Beka Mindiashvili, and a specialist of civic education, Nino Eremashvili.

The training was attended by representatives of media outlets of the Kakheti region, specifically, representatives of the Information Center of Kakheti, the Gurjaani newspaper, the Kakhetis Khma (Voice of Kakheti) newspaper, and TV stations Gurjaani and Tanamgzavri (Satellite).

The main part of the discussion was devoted to the situation that exists in the country in terms of tolerance and cases of discriminatory treatment towards religious minorities during 2013, specifically, the cases of Nigvziani, Samtatskaro, and Tchela. The participants also discussed the initiative of the Georgian government to finance four religious denominations which was sounded out several days ago.

The participants also discussed signs of discrimination in general and raised the question whether the list of signs of discrimination contained in Article 14 of the Constitution of Georgia is comprehensive.

In addition to the norms that provide protection from discrimination, the discussion participants highlighted the problems that exist in Georgia’s legislation, in the sense that some laws have a discriminatory character (e.g. the norms of the Tax Code that pertain to religious organizations and grant tax exemptions to them).

The discussion participants paid considerable attention to the use of hate speech by the media.

The discussion was held in the framework of the “Supporting Equality through Education“ project. The project is funded by the US embassy.