Ex-MP Says Georgian Dream Censored Criticism Against Putin

Former senior Georgian Dream lawmaker Gedevan Popkhadze has said starting 2017 the ruling party had worked to expose and “neutralize” Facebook criticism by the party members against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In his remarks with anchor Vakho Sanaia at govt-critical Formula TV on April 29, Popkhadze claimed the governing party’s central office tasked regional offices to resort to “conversations” with social media critics of Putin.

According to Popkhadze, the targeted members were explained it was not in the interests of the party to criticize the Russian President.

Popkhadze further claimed the State Security Service, the chief domestic intelligence agency, was tasked to monitor the implementation of the task.

Neither the Georgian Dream party, nor the State Security Service reacted to the allegations so far.

Interestingly, alleged security service files, leaked in September 2021, similarly suggested that Patriarchal Locum Tenens, Orthodox Metropolitan Shio Mujiri punished an acolyte for criticizing Putin on Facebook, by forcing him to give up being an altar boy and wearing sticharion, a liturgical vestment.

MP Popkhadze quit the Georgian Dream party in February 2019, following intra-party dispute over the controversial appointments to the Supreme Court.

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