Anti-nazism a crime in Georgia?

Soviet Order of Victory medal

From the Georgian International Media Centre:

Veterans of the victory over fascism could face arrest if they wear their medals in public

Submitted by georgiamedia on Mon, 11/10/2010 – 14:52

Gia Tortladze, leader of the Georgian Democratic Party is to propose a law in parliament that could apprently lead to the arrest of veterans of the Great Patriotic War of 1941 – 45 if they displayed their campaign medals.

Tortladze proposes that anyone publicly displaying a Soviet symbol would be guilty of a criminal offence.

Yet Soviet medals from the Second World War – such as the Order of Victory shown here – are built around just such symbols.

Totladze, who began his political career as an opposition politican but who has since become a fanatical supporter of Mikheil Saakashvili, has little popular support and it is not clear if the ruling party intend to pass all or any of his proposed legislation.

The official policy of the Tbilisi government is to regard the Soviet armed forces as occupiers, following the crushing of the democratic and independent Georgian state in 1922. But such hostility has not been extended to memories of the second world war where Georgians, like other Soviet citizens, paid a huge price to defeat the Nazi invasion of the USSR.

Victory Day – 8 May – is still marked publicly in Tbilisi and the war memorial in Vake Park has been repainted in the colours of independent Georgia but still is clearly dedicated to those who fought fascism.

Mikheil Saakashvili, some have called him NATO’s favorite despot: here.

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