Georgian President, European Union, Council of Europe, US and European governments

We protest the clear violation of the law when revoking Georgian businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Georgian citizenship.

Bidzina Ivanishvili acquired Georgian citizenship through naturalization procedures in 2004. He informed the society about his decision to set up a a political party and stated on October 7, 2011 that he intends to give up French and Russian citizenships and is ready to surrender his passports of foreign states according to corresponding procedures.

We think that the government of Georgia aims to prevent Bidzina Ivanishvili from establishing a political party and participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections in 2012. It is not coincidence that Georgian citizenships were stripped of Ivanishvili and his wife after the businessman announced his intention to set up a political party.

It is particularly important to note that Ekaterine Khvedelidze, the businessman’s wife, had been citizen of France and Russia before the President of Georgia granted Georgian citizenship to her.

Thus, it was completely unclear and legally unjustified that Khvedelidze’s citizenship was stripped of now. Unlike her husband, her citizenship was revoked two days later and it means the government continues to punish-intimidate male politicians by punishing their wives.

We, the undersigned, call on

- the President of Georgia and authoritative bodies to stop politically motivated persecution against Bidzina Ivanishvili and to allow him to participate in political life of Georgia;

- International organizations, US and the European governments to strictly control this particular case and to prevent the government of Georgia to violate universally guaranteed human rights.

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