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Concern over intimidation on our former colleague in Georgia

Written declaration No. 639 | Doc. 14421 | 12 October 2017

Signatories:
Mr Andrea RIGONI, Italy, ALDE ; Mr Volodymyr ARIEV, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Ms Mónika BARTOS, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Mr Boryslav BEREZA, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Ms Gülsün BİLGEHAN, Turkey, SOC ; Ms Anne BRASSEUR, Luxembourg, ALDE ; Ms Reina de BRUIJN-WEZEMAN, Netherlands, ALDE ; Mr Roland Rino BÜCHEL, Switzerland, ALDE ; Ms Margareta BUDNER, Poland, EC ; Mr Raphaël COMTE, Switzerland, ALDE ; Mr Bernd FABRITIUS, Germany, EPP/CD ; Ms Doris FIALA, Switzerland, ALDE ; Mr Bruno FUCHS, France, ALDE ; Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Ms Ingebjørg GODSKESEN, Norway, EC ; Mr Vladyslav GOLUB, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Mr Jean-Pierre GRIN, Switzerland, ALDE ; Mr Andres HERKEL, Estonia, EPP/CD ; Mr István HOLLIK, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Mr Michael Aastrup JENSEN, Denmark, ALDE ; Mr Carles JORDANA, Andorra, ALDE ; Mr Serhii KIRAL, Ukraine, EC ; Mr Eerik-Niiles KROSS, Estonia, ALDE ; Mr Edmon MARUKYAN, Armenia, ALDE ; Mr Killion MUNYAMA, Poland, EPP/CD ; Mr Bernard PASQUIER, Monaco, ALDE ; Mr Aleksander POCIEJ, Poland, EPP/CD ; Ms Patrícia RIBERAYGUA, Andorra, ALDE ; Mr Serhiy SOBOLEV, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Ms Olena SOTNYK, Ukraine, ALDE ; Ms Petra De SUTTER, Belgium, SOC ; Mr Egidijus VAREIKIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD ; Mr Mart van de VEN, Netherlands, ALDE ; Mr Sylvain WASERMAN, France, ALDE ; Mr Andrzej WOJTYŁA, Poland, EC ; Mr Leonid YEMETS, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Mr Tobias ZECH, Germany, EPP/CD ; Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD

We express our concern about reported cases of pressure on political opponents in Georgia, including a former member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, who did not stand for the October 2016 elections.

Our particular concern is about Ms Chiora Taktakishvili, one of the leaders of the United Movement Party and former Assembly member. Her husband Ilia Nikolaishvili was interrogated by the State Security Service on a controversial conspiracy case, days before elections. The accusations of alleged conspiracy are now apparently used to place surveillance, threaten and intimidate opposition politicians and activists, among them our former colleague.

We fear that Ms Taktakishvili may be punished for her positions taken as a member of the Assembly on the issues of media freedom, politicised justice and independence of the judiciary.

We will closely follow the situation of Ms Taktakishvili and her husband and call on Georgian authorities to refrain from unjustified pressure on opposition politicians and activists.