Public Defender’s Statement on Zviad Ratiani Case
The Public Defender of Georgia is echoing the case of alleged ill-treatment of Zviad Ratiani by representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and hopes that the investigation will provide persuasive answers to all important questions within reasonable time.
The Public Defender considers that the decision of the Prosecutor’s Office to launch a probe was correct, but she also notes that the initial investigation actions were carried out by the General Inspection Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which contradicts international standards of effective investigation and established subordination rules.
The Public Defender notes that the case should not be considered absolutely separately, as it represents manifestation of the tendency of the use of excessive power by police officers, something mentioned by the Public Defender in the 2016 parliamentary report. For the purpose of restoring citizens' confidence, which is a declared goal of the Interior Minister, it is necessary to investigate each case. In this regard, the Public Defender welcomes the decision on the suspension of one of the police officers from duties until the final investigation of the case.
It is also important that Zviad Ratiani was subjected to alleged ill-treatment during the special police control, within the framework of which, up to 52,000 persons have been checked. The Public Defender once again reminds citizens that in case of ill-treatment or abuse of power by police officers, they may appeal to the Public Defender's Office through hotline - 1481.
Representatives of the Public Defender's Office have already met with Zviad Ratiani and talked with him in the temporary detention facility. The Public Defender's Office will monitor Zviad Ratiani's trial, as well as the investigation of the case of ill-treatment.