Shevardnadze Calls for Dialogue Between Confessions

(Tbilisi, Civil Georgia, July 15, 2002) – “I call society for the dialogue between the deferent confession and opponents, as the dialogue is the only way to avoid confrontation,” President Shevardnadze stated in his radiobroadcast today commenting on violent attack on NGO Liberty Institute on July 10.

President said that he has already condemned the attack. Despite we have established democratic principles “it seems that the society is not ready for the normal dialogue yet,” Eduard Shevardnadze added.

Liberty Institute is known for its activism in defending human rights of the minorities, which frequently stirred angry reaction of the religious fundamentalists and political extremists. In recent weeks supporters of the maverick ultranationalist MP Guram Sharadze launched the protests against the Liberty Institute demanding ‘punishment’ of its leaders and specifically, Levan Ramishvili.

Sharadze accused the Liberty Institute and other NGOs in undermining Georgian church, state and traditions and publicly blamed them for ‘taking orders from the West.’