Georgia drops controversial blasphemy law
16 February 2016

The sponsor of a controversial law which would have outlawed “insult of religious feelings” in Georgia has withdrawn the bill, it emerged on Monday.

The bill, which was endorsed by parliament’s human rights committee earlier this month, would have imposed a 300 lari ($120) fine for religious insults, with a fine ten times that for desecrating a religious symbol.

Soso Jachvliani from the leading Georgian Dream coalition withdrew the proposal, parliamentary speaker Davit Usupashvili confirmed on February 15.

The bill caused divisions both outside the ruling coalition and within it, with coalition members such as Tamar Kordzaia of the Republican Party opposing it.

It was strongly criticized by human rights groups, including No To Phobia, a Georgia based coalition of NGOs, and Amnesty International.

A similar bill was also proposed, and dropped, in late 2013.

Sources: and agencies

Photo: Georgian Christians celebrate Orthodox Christmas at the Tbilisi Trinity Cathedral on 7 January 2014