Persecution of Georgian communist leader draws widespread condemnation

Temur Pipia, leader of the Unified Communist Party of Georgia, was detained by the Georgian police while returning from Russia. The state authorities have registered a case against him invoking the 2011 Freedom Charter

April 11, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
State repression of communists Georgia
Communist leader Temur Pipia was detained on March 28 at the Upper Lars checkpoint at the Russian-Georgian border.

Communists and progressive sections in the former Soviet regions have condemned the state persecution of Temur Pipia, the leader of the Unified Communist Party of Georgia. Various communist parties in the region, including the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM), Party of Communists of Kyrgyzstan, Communist People’s Party of Kazakhstan (KNPK), and the Communist Parties in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Armenia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, among others, have condemned the Georgian authorities’ targeting of Pipia.

The communist leader was detained on March 28 at the Upper Lars checkpoint at the Russian-Georgian border while he was returning from Russia after participating in the  Oryol International Economic Forum. Georgian customs officers also confiscated 300 medals from him donated by Gennady Zyuganov (leader of the Communist Party of Russian Federation) (KPRF) to honor their Georgian comrades and associates on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory [over Nazi Germany}.

The Georgian authorities have registered a case against Pipia invoking the 2011 Freedom Charter which calls for preventive measures against the principles of communist, totalitarian and national socialist (Nazi) ideologies.

In their statement on April 7, the Central Council of the Union of Communist Parties – Communist Party of the Soviet Union (SKP-CPSU) said that it “openly condemns the cynicism and hypocrisy with which the Georgian authorities treat the country’s true patriots and apply methods that are illegitimate from the point of view of international law.”

“We declare the unacceptability of such measures against Georgian communists and patriots, as well as the negative impact of this incident on maintaining ties between the peoples of our states,” the statement adds.

Equating communism with Nazism has been a recent strategy of the right-wing governments in post-Soviet republics and East European countries, in addition to the razing down of communist monuments. In September 2019, the European Parliament passed a resolution equating communism with Nazism and also called for the erasure of all memorials of “totalitarianism” across Europe, including memorials dedicated to the Soviet Red Army – responsible for liberating most of Eastern Europe from Nazi rule.