"Not a reform, but punishment for independence": why Georgia abolished Inspector's Service
Georgia abolishes State Inspector’s Service
“The ruling party has decided to abolish the Georgian State Inspector’s Service – this is not a reform, but a punishment of the employees of this structure for its independence”, said the head of the Inspector’s Service, Londa Toloraya at a special briefing in Tbilisi on December 27.
This structure was created in September 2019 as an independent state body to control the legality of the processing of personal data, as well as conduct investigation of crimes committed by state structures and officials.
One of the latest statements by the service was an appeal to the government with a request to fulfill the demand of ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, who had been on a hunger strike for more than 40 days in prison, and to transfer him to a multidisciplinary clinic.
The Public Defender, several non-governmental organizations, diplomats, ordinary citizens, actors, writers, as well as the US State Department also made a similar appeals to the government.
Londa Toloraya believes that it was this appeal of the service to the government that caused the structure to be disbanded “as a punishment”.
For its part, the parliamentary majority of the ruling Georgian Dream party announced its intention to create a special service for the investigation and protection of personal data on the basis of the former inspection.
“This is a very dangerous precedent for the entire country. This is a signal to civil servants that the conscientious performance of their work may result in their dismissal”, Toloraya said.
She also believes that it was not an accident that the decision to dissolve the Inspection Service was made in the pre-New Year period, since “this is the time when most of the representatives of the diplomatic corps and international organizations are on vacation outside Georgia”.
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Former President Mikheil Saakashvili spoke in support of the State Inspection. He said that the structure was closed because in the near future the employees of the state inspection had to make a decision on whether torture was used against him. “[The authorities] are trying to prevent this from happening”, Saakashvili said.