Public Defender’s Statement on the Events Developed at the Rally on Rustaveli Avenue

The Public Defender of Georgia echoes the events developed at the rally ongoing on Rustaveli Avenue and the detentions of human rights defenders, and once again calls on the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia to act in accordance with the requirements of the law and to ensure protection of peaceful protesters’ freedom of assembly and expression.

The Public Defender emphasizes once again that freedom of expression protects not only positive general information and ideas, as harmless or indifferent, but also those that are offensive, shocking or disturbing. Existence of a democratic society is unthinkable without the observance of the mentioned standard. Thus, law enforcement officers are not allowed to interfere with freedom of expression for completely incomprehensible reasons and in a rude manner.

The authorized arepresentatives of the Public Defender will observe the progress of the rally on the spot. In addition, within the framework of their mandate, they will continue to visit detainees and assess their physical condition.

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