Published: 9 Dec 2016 | By Mariam Uberi
Criminalisation of incitement of hatred
Is freedom of speech protected in Georgia?
In June 2015 Georgia criminalised incitement to hatred under its Criminal Code. However, its restrictive interpretation of the law falls short of Georgia’s obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
On 12 June 2015, Georgia adopted a criminal law provision which penalises “incitement to hatred or calls for violence in public or which by any other means creates animosity between racial, religious, national ethnic and social, linguistic or/and any other groups if it creates clear, imminent and substantial threat or violent actions”. The penalty for such actions is 200- 400 hours of community work. If such an action has caused death or other grave bodily harm, it is punishable by two to five years’ imprisonment.