Public Defender’s Statement on Rally Underway near Parliament

The Public Defender of Georgia is watching the events developed at the rally underway in front of the Parliament, where the situation gets periodically tensed, with clashes between the participants in the rally and the law enforcement officers. At the same time, law enforcement officers are mobilized, water cannon is also deployed and reports say pepper spray may be used.

The Public Defender emphasizes that interference with freedom of assembly is permissible only if the assembly takes a violent and/or illegal nature, in which case the termination of the assembly by the authorities should be used as the last resort, and the use of force within the mentioned framework should meet the strict test of necessity and proportionality.

According to the observation of the Public Defender of Georgia, at this stage (April 29, 00:30) there is no prerequisite for terminating the assembly, as the rally is peaceful. Therefore, the Public Defender appeals to the Ministry of Internal Affairs not to use force against the peaceful demonstrators and not to prevent them from enjoying their rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

At the same time, the Public Defender calls on the organizers and participants in the assembly not to go beyond the scope of the peaceful assembly.

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