Public Defender of Georgia Giorgi Tugushi responded to the statements of MP Azer Suleimanov with regard to MP Jondi Bagaturia. The Ombudsman’s statement was published on his official page on Facebook.
Giorgi Tugushi said the MP Azer Suleimanov represented the different ethnic belonging in discrediting-insulting context and in doing so he tried to discredit his opponent.
“We are concerned that the Georgian MP is author of those words who has taken extraordinary responsibility before the country. Although the topic of the discussion, which was followed by the incident, is extremely sensitive and it can never become reason of insulting and degrading of any ethnic group,” the Public Defender stated.
Giorgi Tugushi thinks similar facts undermine the peaceful development of Georgia, unity of the Georgian population and contradicts the Constitution and state interests of Georgia.
“I would like to express my concern in regard with frequently made statements of this context by public and political figures,” the Ombudsman said and suggested everybody, particularly the Georgian MPs, politicians and public figures to refrain from similar rhetoric and to strictly condemn any cases of xenophobia and intolerance.
On April 24, Marneuli district independent MP Azer Suleimanov called Jondi Bagaturia Armenian and “Bagaturian” at the parliament session. The controversy started after Jondi Bagaturia rebuked the Georgian government for having recognized the genocide of Cherkez people and inquired how the authority will respond to the representatives of Armenian Diaspora who request to recognize their genocide by Turkey.
When Bagaturia was making the statement, MP Azer Suleimanov threw a tube from the hall and it resulted into a quarrel.
Later, the National Movement spread statement of MP Azer Suleimanov which stated that he “acknowledges Georgian citizens cannot be segregated according to ethnic grounds despite emotional background and to use ethnic grounds as argument to criticize the opponent.”