Public Defender Echoes Rallies on Aghmashenebeli Avenue

A representative of the Public Defender monitored the rallies held on Aghmashenebeli Avenue, Tbilisi, on July 23, 2017. In particular, the European Georgia held a march against Russian fascism, while another counter demonstration was planned simultaneously by the organizers of the Georgian March, though later it was canceled; however, some of the participants still gathered.

The Public Defender positively evaluates the efforts of the police. It is noteworthy that there was a cordon of law enforcers between the participants of both demonstrations that created a safe environment and minimized the risks. However, despite the measures taken, there were certain incidents. In particular, participants of the counter-demonstration threw water bottles, eggs and brooms at the participants of the European Georgia demonstration; there have been cases of verbal abuse as well. According to the reports, several persons were injured. The Ministry of Internal Affairs launched an investigation into the injury of a citizen under Article 126 (violence) of the Criminal Code.

The Public Defender urges law enforcement agencies to legally respond to each incident and apply appropriate measures of responsibility against all offenders. The Public Defender's Office will continue to observe this process.

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