Public Defender’s Statement on Events Developed in Batumi

According to the information available to the Public Defender of Georgia, on July 31, 2023, at the protest rally held near the Batumi harbor against the cruise ship that arrived from Russia, the officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs detained 19 persons, including likely one Ukrainian citizen for petty hooliganism and disobedience to the lawful demands of law enforcement officers (under articles 166 and 173 of the Administrative Offences Code of Georgia).

A representative of the Public Defender met three citizens detained at the rally, one of whom, R. M. spoke about the verbal and physical abuse by police officers. The Public Defender’s Office immediately informed the Special Investigation Service about the alleged ill-treatment of R. M. and expects a quick and effective response.

According to the information provided by the Batumi City Division of the Police Department of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara to the representative of the Public Defender, 9 citizens arrested at the rally were transferred to the temporary detention centers of Senaki and Zugdidi, and it is planned to transfer 2 detainees to the Ozurgeti detention center.

The Public Defender of Georgia will continue to study the cases of alleged violations of the rights of those detained at the rally and will update the public on the situation.

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