Public Defender’s Statement on Forms of Alleged Ill-Treatment at Rally

The forms of alleged ill-treatment, the result of which the public saw from the photos showing the injuries on the body/face of detained Davit Katsarava, are disturbing.

A representative of the Public Defender immediately went to the clinic to visit Davit Katsarava and receive information about his condition. However, due to the degree/nature of the injuries (fractured facial bones), he is undergoing surgery and cannot be visited at this time.

The Public Defender, in parallel with the protests, has been constantly pointing out that the police should use only necessary and proportionate force, and act within the law. In contrast, it is disturbing to see the violent actions that the law enforcement agencies continue to use in many cases.

The Public Defender once again calls on the employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to act in accordance with the law and not to mistreat citizens. We would also like to remind police officers that inhuman and/or degrading treatment is one of the serious crimes and the criminal statute of limitations does not apply to it.

At the same time, the Public Defender calls on the Special Investigation Service to conduct an effective investigation as soon as possible in order to identify all violent police officers as quickly as possible. Whereas 6 participants in the rally have already been arrested under criminal law and more than 150 citizens - on the basis of the administrative code, it is noteworthy that none of the police officers has been held responsible, including those whose faces were not covered while carrying out criminal actions, identification of which does not represent any special difficulty. We emphasize again that the above causes a sense of impunity.

In addition, it is significant that there are also cases of physical violence against journalists by law enforcement officers. The Public Defender notes that interfering with journalists’ activities and violence against them are extremely unacceptable and requires an immediate response - an effective investigation.

Representatives of the Public Defender will meet and visit all other detained persons in order to identify and respond to the violations of their rights. Information about the results of the visits will be additionally provided to the public later.

The hotline of the Public Defender's Office - 14 81 - works 24 hours a day to receive notifications about the rights violations.

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Hot line: 1481 (24/7)