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Public Defender's Statement on the Release of Video Footage Showing Private Life

Another attack on a female politician, an attempt to discredit her and the use of systemic weapon against women - this is a reality in which female public persons have to work in our state. Blackmailing a person by the use of footage showing private life has become a systemic problem, and in response to this, we only have the pending investigations and even proper information about the progress of the investigation is not available for the public.

Unfortunately, this is a gender-motivated crime and is mainly directed against female politicians. It is therefore important that the discriminatory motive of the crime be underlined by the investigation in order to ensure adequate punishment of offenders and to prevent the use of videos showing private life for the discrimination of women in the political system in the future.

The public remembers a similar crime that took place on March 11 and 14, 2016. However, we still do not know whether or not the Prosecutor's Office has identified the individuals who recorded those videos and released them via the internet or other persons.

It is the obligation of the State to apply strict policies and punish perpetrators. The public should be informed that it is a crime to release, keep or archive videos showing private life, which leads to strict punishment.

Complex measures should be planned against blackmailing a person by the use of videos showing private life, which should be directed at solving the problem, reducing the risks (mechanism of quick reporting, ways for quickly blocking the footage, etc.) and raising awareness. It is necessary that the state authorities make active efforts in this direction, since it is impossible to eliminate the problem without effective steps and since the issue is just periodically actualized.

The Public Defender of Georgia urges the law enforcers to investigate the case and prosecute the individuals who committed the crime. She also calls on the public to support the victims of such blackmail regardless of their political or other opinions.

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