Public Defender's Statement on Incident Occurring during Socialist Party Congress in Telavi

The Public Defender of Georgia expresses concern with regard to the physical and verbal abuse of citizen R.K. by members of the Socialist Party in the city of Telavi on August 4, 2016.

According to media reports, one of the organizers of the event did not allow R.K. to attend the gathering and hit him in the face.

According to our findings, police arrested the offender and charged him under article 125 of the Criminal Code of Georgia.

The video footage shows that the incident participants used hate speech. The Public Defender condemns such acts of violence, the use of hate speech and calls on the law enforcement agencies to immediately respond to each of such cases and ensure proper legal assessment.

As situation is expected to get tensed ahead of the elections, I call on the Ministry of Internal Affairs to ensure proper legal response to each of similar acts of violence and prevent the emergence of the sense of impunity.

We remind you that on August 4 the Socialist Party held a party congress in the hall of music educational establishment of Telavi. The new political center Girchi held a counter event in the vicinity of the educational establishment, which caused controversy.

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