Public Defender Identifies Members Expelled from Greens as Victims of Discrimination
On August 1, 2022, the Public Defender examined the case of four members expelled from the Greens public movement NNLE and established that their freedom of association had been restricted.
The Public Defender had to evaluate whether the applicants’ freedom of association was restricted due to the expression of a dissenting opinion. In particular, the applicants had protested against the participation of one of the members of the Greens committee in an event organized by Tbilisi Pride.
In the position presented to the Public Defender, the Greens public movement noted that the applicants had violated the organization's charter, bylaws, and ignored the rights and freedoms granted to citizens by the constitution through aggressive and destructive forms of expression.
It should be underlined that the Public Defender has not discussed the legitimacy of the applicants' demand and only assessed the correctness of their expulsion from the organization only because of the above considerations. The Public Defender considers that the applicants’ opinions were expressive of their individual attitudes and did not go beyond the scope of criticism permitted by freedom of expression.
Based on the above, the Public Defender issued a reccommendation to the Greens movement to immediately restore the membership status of the applicants, in case of their consent, and not to allow discriminatory treatment on the gound of dissenting opinion and/or others grounds during exercise of freedom of association in the future