Public Defender Calls on Investigative Agencies to Take Legal Measures in Response to Recent Cases of Alleged Excessive Use of Force and Ill-treatment

The Public Defender periodically presents information to the public about the results of visits made to the persons arrested at the rallies, including information about alleged ill-treatment and use of excessive force against them.

This time, we would like to provide aditional information about the actions taken in response to the violent incidents against opposition political leaders, members of parties, representatives of non-governmental organizations, media outlets and protesters, which were covered by the media.

The Public Defender’s Office has responded to a number of similar cases and addressed the relevant investigative agencies - the Special Investigation Service, the Prosecutor's Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

In particular, the Office urged the investigative agencies to implement a timely and effective response to the violence carried out against Levan Khabeishvili, Sopo Japaridze, Aleko Elisashvili, Gia Japaridze, Giorgi Mumladze, Boris Chele Kurua, Nodar Chachanidze, Dimitri Chikovani, biker Lasha Gvinianidze, DJ Giorgi Shengelia, civil activist Ana Subeliani’s father, US and Georgian citizen Theodore Jonas and teacher Lado Abkhazava; as well as Publica journalist Aleksandre Keshelashvili and other journalists of the same media, Tabula journalist Giorgi Badridze, Aprili journalist Giorgi Baskhajauli, interference with the activities of TV Pirveli crew, assault on IDFI Executive Director Giorgi Klidiashvili and Formula TV crew; the violent incidents shown in a number of video footage on May 13 and the previous days, including the violence against a citizen on Leonidze Street, the attack on a group of young people in Heroes' Square.

It should be noted that the attacks on representatives of opposition parties, journalists and participants in the rally show signs of persecution on the grounds of political views, activity and opinion, which categorically contradicts the individual rights of a person guaranteed by the constitution and international acts, as well as the basic principles of a democratic society and the rule of law.

The Public Defender calls on the investigative agencies, as soon as possible, to identify the responsibility of all the alleged perpetrators and to take appropriate legal measures in order to identify both law-breaking police officers and violent individuals/groups, their organizers and/or instigators. At the same time, the Public Defender definitely believes that the investigation agencies should not ignore the motive of the mentioned improper actions, which is related to the persecution on the grounds of dissent, professional activities and political opinions.

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