(Dec. 8, 2010) As reported by the Newsru.com Information Agency, on October 29, 2010, the Parliament of Georgia almost unanimously adopted the “Liberty Charter” introduced by pro-government parliamentary factions. The document provides for additional national security measures, lustration of former high-level Soviet officials, and a prohibition against the use and display of Soviet and Nazi symbols. According to the Charter's authors, similar acts were passed in other post-communist countries that have been able to free themselves of their totalitarian past.
The measures provided by the Charter foresee increased government control of the transfer of funds to Georgian public associations and individuals from abroad; enhanced video surveillance in airports, on public transportation, and in other strategic areas; and tightened police control over suspicious cargo shipments to Georgia. In regard to lustration, the Charter provides that persons who formerly played an active role in Soviet and Communist authorities will not be able to work in high government positions. If they already occupy such positions, they will have to resign within one month. In addition, information on ties between Georgian citizens and the former Soviet secret police, the KGB, will be made public.
However, the parliamentary opposition, while agreeing with most of the Charter's provisions, believes that Soviet symbols are a part of Georgian history and that it is not necessary to outlaw them. (V Gruzii Hotyat Zapretit Sovetskuyu Simvoliku [Soviet Symbols Might Be Banned in Georgia] [in Russian], NEWSRU.COM INFORMATION AGENCY (Oct. 29, 2010), http://www.newsru.com/world/29oct2010/hartia_print.html.)