‘This Affects You - They Are Still Listening’ campaign participant organizations’ appeal to the Georgian government and parliament - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო
GEO

‘This Affects You - They Are Still Listening’ campaign participant organizations’ appeal to the Georgian government and parliament

02 May, 2014

Under Parliamentary Rules of Procedure, no plenary sessions shall be held in the Parliament during a 1 month period prior to the local government elections. This means that hearing and adoption of regulations concerning secret surveillance may be postponed.

First committee hearings on the draft law on secret surveillance began on April 3 with discussions being held at the Human Rights and Civil Integration, Health and Social Affairs and Procedural Committees. On the following day, it became known that an ad hoc interagency task force had been set up at the State Security and Crisis Management Council’s initiative involving the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Justice, and the General Prosecutor’s Office to develop a personal information protection strategy and, as we learnt later on, reconsider the draft law on secret surveillance. Until this time, a task force set up within the Parliamentary Legal Committee had been working for almost 10 months together with non-governmental organizations and international experts to refine the existing draft. The Ministry of Interior, which was also involved in this process, did not submit any comments or recommendations regarding the draft law.

It is obvious that setting up the ad hoc interagency task force considerably encumbered and prolonged the draft review process. There is reason to suspect that the government, specifically the law enforcement agencies, is deliberately trying to hinder consideration of the draft by Parliament.

NGOs involved in ‘This Affects You - They Are Still Listening’ campaign are once again calling on Parliament to renew consideration of the above legislative package without delay and facilitate implementation of legislative amendments related to secret surveillance. It is important to conclude the draft consideration before the local government elections.

We also call on the Government not to delay consideration of amendments to the Criminal Code and to support implementation of legislative changes regarding secret surveillance, which provides constitutional guarantees for protection of privacy and its compliance with international standards.

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