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President Is Expected To Reply to Insulted National Minorities

03.05.2007
kacib.gifOrganization “Multinational Georgia” has petitioned to the Georgian Pesident and the Chairwoman of the Parliament and demands them to respond on insulting statements made by their co-thinker. It was MP Beso Jugheli who made statements on TV and non-Georgian population considered he was kindling national outrage.

Human Rights Center has revealed the situation in one article already where the details were described thoroughly. Here we introduce an interview with the head of the organization, who collects signatures to expel Jugheli from the fraction.

Journalist: You have spread appeal and call upon concerned people to sign the demand on expelling Jugheli from the fraction. What are you going to do?

Agid Mirzoevi: After the MP made an insulting statement we got in touch with all people who were astonished by Jugheli’s speech. Most of them were representatives of NGOs and ordinary people who support us. We have prepared joint appeal and applied to the Georgian President, the Chairwoman of the Parliament and fraction “Majoritarebi”. We demand to react on the situation immediately.

-What do you mean be reaction; do you want Jugheli to be expelled from the fraction?

A. M. We have offered them to demonstrate their attitude in the following way: they should either expel Mr. Beso Jugheli from the fraction or if it is impossible, they should leave the fraction in protest themselves. As for the President, we demand he made immediate and severe statements regarding the situation. We demand severe statement because people, who think or speak about kindling national outrage in Georgia, should vanish. 

 -Do you think that Mr. Jugheli’s statements kindle national outrage?

A.M. Yes, I do. It directly supports to kindle the outrage. Many journalists made incorrect interpretation about his statement. They drew their attention particularly to the word “Mikirtuma”. However, I condemn everything what he said. I do not appreciate the campaign to resolve the problem of taxes in historical districts and the fact that the campaign is led by Jugheli.

-Can you remember his statement that encourages the kindling of the national outrage?

A. M. He said that the new tax will not be paid by Georgian people because only Armenian, Azerbaijan people, Kurds and people of other nationalities live in historical districts. This statement serves the kindling of the outrage. This phrase was mentioned in the newspaper “24 Saati”; the journalist cites the phrase from the interview given to the Radio Utsnobi. It was the real reason for the problem and attention should have been drawn to that phrase and not to MIkirtuma.

-Why, Mikirtuma is an Armenian name, isn’t it?

A. M. Generally, his statement on Mikirtumas or other phrases were categorically unacceptable for us. However he discussed the situation afterwards too. Similar attitude to the problem is completely unacceptable for us. Unfortunately, we often equal ethnicity with various professions. First of all it is a problem of Stereotypes and ethnical imperfection. For example, we often hear phrase “Manicure maker-Siranusha”, etc. When a politician speaks in similar way, it is very offensive. Representative of the government must not call upon Mikirtum to sell or rent out his property. More precisely the government introduces his society with a prescription. 

We wonder whether the Georgian President shares his position. The Parliament should decide how they must express their positions-will they dissociate with Jugheli or not. We have not received any replies from authority yet.

-Has Jugheli got in touch with you?

A. M. Of course he has. He sent an official letter to us where he stated that the situation had resulted from provocation and he had not said similar words. He considers it is a slander and said that he had already appealed to the Prosecutor’s Office. An investigation will start on the situation. Besides that he made a public apology in the newspaper “Kviris Palitra” and confessed that he has made a mistake.

-Is not MP’s apology enough to stop complaining?

A. M. We have made following arrangements. We sent him a notification where we explained him that an apology to us is not necessary. If he considers that he has made a mistake as a politician, he should appeal to those people whom he had insulted. Besides that he should give a briefing and speak with the society. In general, I advise every politician to have permanent dialogue with society.

However, Jugheli claims he has not said anything wrong. Here we have met some misunderstanding. We applied to the radio Utsnobi and asked them to give us audio recording. Unfortunately they said that because of technical reasons that part of interview was deleted.

-Do you have any doubts regarding the deleted recording?

A. M. We are waiting for some processes, however we have some doubts. We offered Jugheli to prove that he is right, because it is in his interests. He should make effort to prove his innocence. We have applied to the “24 Saati” too and asked them to give us an audio recording because we know the journalist have that recording. We are expecting the reply at present.

-As far as I know, you speak about boycotting the future elections too?

A. M. We have enclosed messages to letters we have sent to various people. It is a special campaign message “Antipathy-Antiparty”. Our organization will name owners of these messages. They are those people who make offensive statements regarding ethnicity. We will boycott those political parties in the elections, which will receive our messages.

-Is National Movement supposed to receive that message?

A. M. Let us see. We are expecting the President and the Chairwoman of the Parliament to react on the situation. Making similar statements and then apologizing for mistakes might lead the society to negative syndrome. It is impunity syndrome. When a person, particularly a politician, commits a serious crime, s/he should be punished for it.  Politicians have more responsibilities.

-Do you think that national minorities suffer from discrimination in Georgia regardless this particular incident?

A. M. In generally they do, of course. There are occasions when Kurds cannot restore their historical surnames. There are facts when people are coming to us for consultations because they were discriminated and insulted on ethnic grounds.

Eka Gulua

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