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Media - 22:54 / 4 March 2021

A letter from prison

Rustavi, Georgia, 3 March 2021

A letter from prison

Dear friends around the world,

I am addressing you out of pre-trial detention, where I have been taken after a raid of special forces at the United National Movement’s office on February 23, 2021. My forcible detention constitutes a preliminary culmination point in a politically motivated court case, put on and off for months at the discretion of the Georgian government.

However, it is not my personal fate that matters today. At stake is nothing short of the survival of democratic institutions in Georgia and the country’s integration into the Euro-Atlantic family. The nine years of “Georgian Dream” government have brought about full-blown state capture as well as a serious drop in the level of democratization. And all of this, as the geopolitical vectors in the wider region are rapidly changing! Once beaming widely, the “beacon of democracy” is but merely flickering on.

Today, the Georgian opposition is fully united in its struggle for a democratic future. And we do not save any efforts to reach this goal. A goal that is greater than the fate of our country. Martin Luther King once said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Today, the fault line between democracy and freedom on the one hand, and authoritarianism and injustice on the other hand, is running right through Georgia. I feel and am grateful for the immense support for our cause we have experienced from all over the world over the past days. To know that the civilized world stands behind us gives us strength and firmness in our struggle.

We are leading this struggle peacefully and fearlessly. I am convinced that we are on the right side of history. Future generations will be proud of and grateful to those who worked to protect Georgian democracy. Thus, I am sitting within these four walls with serenity. I do not feel the prison around me. I only feel freedom inside of me.

The struggle goes on. Movement, and only movement, is the source of life.

Yours in faith,

Nika Melia