Public Defender Echoes Protest related to Balda Canyon

Population and activists have been protesting the decisions made by the State regarding the canyon in the village of Balda, Martvili municipality, for months. Inter alia, the participants in the protest have pitched a tent near the canyon.

Unfortunately, the already tense situation has become extremely aggravated in recent days. On the evening of June 11, the people staying in the tent were attacked by armed men. As a result of the attack, two citizens in the tent were injured, one of whom received multiple wounds and underwent surgery. According to the citizens, minors were also in the tent at the time of the attack. As it is known, the attackers have been detained. According to the participants in the protest, the attackers were supporters of the company implementing the project related to the canyon. In addition, on June 12, information was spread about the arrest of one of the protesters.

The Public Defender is concerned about the events in the village of Balda and believes that the current situation is becoming more and more tense and dangerous day by day. Thus, it is necessary for the State to take all effective steps to ease the situation and find ways out of the crisis; To achieve the above, there is no alternative to dialogue and mediation with the participants in the protest.

Taking into account the crisis situation in the Balda village, as well as the special importance of the issue, the Public Defender of Georgia calls on the heads of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia and the Agency of Protected Areas of Georgia to use all available resources and ensure a meeting with the interested party in the coming days, consider the format of the meeting preferred by them and promote trust-based and results-oriented dialogue as much as possible.

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