About Civil.ge
Eng | Geo | Rus
Last updated: 17:25 - 8 Dec.'16
RSS
Mobile
Twitter
Facebook
Parliament’s Human Rights Committee Backs Bill Imposing Fine for ‘Insult of Religious Feelings’
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 2 Feb.'16 / 16:19

Parliamentary committee for human rights supported on February 2 a bill, which, if approved by the parliament, will make “insult of religious feelings” administrative offense.

According to the bill, which was proposed by a ruling coalition lawmaker Soso Jachvliani, the offense should be made punishable with a fine of GEL 300 (about USD 120) and a repeated offense with fine of GEL 600.

According to the same draft “desecration” of religious buildings and religious should be fined with GEL 500 and a repeated offense with GEL 1,000.

The originally proposed wording of the bill envisaged making administrative offense “public expression of hatred against religious organizations, clerics and religious believers, or/and publishing or screening of such material, which aims at insulting religious feelings of believers.”

During discussions at the hearing of the parliamentary committee for human rights, which was not attended by opposition lawmakers, the wording was changed, leaving only “insult of religious feelings” as offense.

Chairperson of the human rights committee, GD MP Eka Beselia, said that “a balance between freedom of expression and protection of religious feelings” should be observed.

During the discussions some lawmakers were citing, as one GD MP Karlo Kopaliani put it, “massive attacks and insults” against the Georgian Orthodox Church behind the need for such legislation. The case of nailing of pig’s head to the front door of a Muslim school in Kobuleti in 2014 was also mentioned during the discussions. 

“Our bill is very soft,” a sponsor of the bill, GD MP Jachvliani, said, adding that in some EU-member countries there was criminal offense against insult of religious feelings – an argument, which was often cited during the discussion, including chair of the committee MP Beselia.

According to End Blasphemy Laws, an international coalition that campaigns to abolish blasphemy laws worldwide, “religious insult” remains an offence in 13 EU-member states (Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Slovakia); these laws, however, are rarely applied.

In late 2013 the Georgian Interior Ministry proposed draft law offering adding “insult of religious feelings” clause to the code of administrative offenses, but at the time the proposal was dropped.

In January, 2015 the Georgian Orthodox Church called on the authorities to provide for protection of rights of believers against “insult of religious feelings.”

Latest News
08 Dec.'16 17:25
Tbilisi Welcomes Decision on Visa Suspension Mechanism
"Georgia is very close to its final goal,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said.
08 Dec.'16 16:08
Georgian FM to Participate in OSCE Ministerial Council
OSCE foreign ministers will gather at the Ministerial Council in Hamburg on December 8-9.
08 Dec.'16 15:03
LIBE Committee Approves New Rules of Suspension Mechanism
Decision on this issue will pave the way for granting visa-free regime to Georgia and Ukraine.
07 Dec.'16 18:34
Georgian FM Hails Raising Georgia’s Issue at UN Security Council
Permanent Mission of Georgia to the United Nations thanked Ukraine for initiating discussion on Georgia.
07 Dec.'16 12:46
Georgian President Visits France
Margvelashviil will participate in the 4th Open Government Partnership Global Summit.
06 Dec.'16 18:34
U.S., Georgia Sign Framework Agreement on Security Cooperation
The document outlines key tasks of cooperation for 2016-2019.
06 Dec.'16 15:16
U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Visits Georgia
Bilateral defense and security cooperation “moves to a new stage,” the Georgian PM’s office said.
06 Dec.'16 13:10
Georgian Foreign Minister Visits Brussels
Janelidze will take part in the Resolute Support Mission meeting on Wednesday.
05 Dec.'16 18:27
Head of Adjara’s Local Government Approved
The newly elected Supreme Council of Adjara re-confirmed Zurab Pataradze on this post.
05 Dec.'16 18:00
Revised Draft of 2017 State Budget
The government projects 4% economic growth next year, according to the revised draft.

About Civil Georgia
Civil.Ge © 2001-2016, Daily News Online
Registered office: 2 Dolidze Str, 4-th Floor.
44