Sharing the significance of safeguarding fundamental rights and freedoms;
Being aware of the threats faced by human rights defenders, media, and other members of civil society in exercising their freedom of expression.
Strongly condemning the ongoing discrediting campaign targeted at the media and human rights defenders in Georgia. Denouncing the frequent incidents of both verbal and physical assaults on journalists, along with various other forms of suppression that curtail freedom of expression.
Being alarmed at an escalating number of disputes initiated by individuals in positions of power, including high-ranked state authorities and their affiliates, using defamation as a pretext.
Noting that such disputes can be qualified as SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation).
Considering SLAPPs as clearly groundless lawsuits filed by politically or financially influential individuals (often based on defamation disputes), whose purpose is not to protect honor, dignity, and business reputation but rather to silence the media and/or active citizens and create financial barriers for them.
Stressing that SLAPPs have a profound "chilling effect" that extends beyond individual cases, thereby undermining the creation of a robust and diverse environment where citizens can freely engage in civil initiatives.
Recognizing our responsibility as civil society organizations in upholding fundamental rights and freedoms, including freedom of expression and media.
We are establishing an anti-SLAPP platform that aims to develop the best anti-SLAPP standards through joint efforts. Moreover, we intend to safeguard and empower the media, human rights defenders, and civil society activists against the perils posed by groundless defamation and other forms of SLAPP cases, which are used to silence them.
We guarantee the attainment of the aforementioned objective through the following measures:
Conducting an in-depth analysis of the prevailing situation concerning SLAPP cases in Georgia and formulating a comprehensive strategy to address the emerging threats associated with them effectively.
Engaging in both local and international advocacy efforts within Georgia, with the aim of eliminating the perils posed by SLAPP cases and ensuring a secure environment conducive to freedom of expression and media.
Disseminating information and knowledge regarding the SLAPP phenomenon to society, including professional circles, to raise awareness and understanding.
Vigilantly monitoring ongoing SLAPP cases in court and providing legal assistance to organizations and individuals who become targets of SLAPP disputes, ensuring they receive the necessary support and guidance.
We invite organizations that are willing to participate in our work process to join the platform.
The anti-SLAPP platform currently unites the following organizations.
Georgian Democracy Initiative
Georgian Young Lawyers Association
Human Rights Center
Transparency International – Georgia
Human Rights House Tbilisi
Institute for Development of Freedom of Information
The platform was established during the First Georgian Anti-SLAPP Conference, held on 29 June 2023. The conference was hosted by the Council of Europe’s Office in Georgia and GDI.