Canvas-Georgia responds to SSG statement
Canvas-Georgia responds to SSG statement

Canvas-Georgia has issued a response to the recent statement by the State Security Service.

“In response to the successful civic campaign carried out in Tbilisi during February-March 2023 against the “Russian Law”, the Georgian high-ranking state officials openly targeted the director of CANVAS Georgia, Giorgi Meladze, referring to him as “an extremist lecturer” and one of the organizers of the campaign.

The threat campaign continued on September 18th, when during a public briefing the State Security Service of Georgia representative stated that CANVAS participated in an organized conspiracy against the state with the intention to overthrow the current regime.

10 days after the above statement, on September 29th the members of CANVAS ( Slobodan Djinovic, Sinisa Sikman and Jelena Stoisich) being in Tbilisi were asked by the SSSG to appear in the agency for questioning. Following the questioning, CANVAS members left Georgia without an official statement, as the questioning was classified and all of them were bound by the nondisclosure rule.

CANVAS Georgia believes that these developments serve as a means to pressure not only the head of the organization and its members but also all the activists who cooperate with it, receive and disseminate the knowledge on strategic non-violence campaigns.

We urge the international human rights organizations, supporters of democracy and human rights in Georgia to take notice of the above developments and communicate this with Georgia’s relevant public and private institutions. We believe that such support will significantly aid the activists working for strengthening democracy in Georgia,” the organization states.

The State Security Service on Monday disclosed part of the evidence obtained through a secret investigation into the Canvas organization’s activities, which allegedly involved meetings with NGOs and civil activists to prepare for a revolutionary scenario.