Statement of the Public Defender on events in Gurjaani

According to media information, during recent days in Gurjaani, certain violent actions occurred on the part of activists of “the Georgian Dream” activists and workers of local self-government towards members of the Parliament from the United National Movement Party and their supporters. The Public Defender of Georgia denounces all displays of violence and calls on relevant bodies to exercise all measures at their disposal in order to adequately assess the incident, identify all those responsible and institute adequate legal actions towards them.

On April 20, workers of Gurjaani Municipal Board and Assembly, together with “the Georgian Dream” activists stormed into a working room of Member of the Georgian Parliament Giorgi Gviniashvili and forced him and other UNM Party activists to leave the building. The confrontation took place between supporters of “the Georgian Dream” and the United National Movement on April 21, on the territory of the Gurjaani Sport Centre. On the following day, April 22, activists of the Georgian Dream Coalition who were gathered in the building of the local self-government, together with workers of non-entrepreneurial (non-commercial) legal entity established by local self-governing bodies threw eggs at MP of Gurjaani Giorgi Gviniashvili, Member of the Parliament Irma Nadirashvili and their accompanying persons.

Unfortunately, such confrontation with a political basis is not a rare case in recent period. It is important for each of such fact to be promptly and effectively investigated and to inform the society about results of the investigation and measures taken. If not, the authorities will have problems with preventing repetition of similar facts and ineffective criminal policy can become one of the instigating factors.

At the same time, it is important that during examination of development that occurred in Gurjaani on April 20 and 22, a special attention should be paid to a role of law enforcers - how effective activities they conducted have been and what interfered with their preventing violent actions.

Unfortunately, this is not the first case when workers of non-entrepreneurial (non-commercial) legal entity established by self-governing bodies are actively involved in confrontation with an opposing party. The Public Defender has been previously repeatedly mentioned about negative sides of involvement of workers of self-government, including self-governing bodies, into such incidents and doubted their impartiality. The aforementioned issue requires immediate actions.

If there are no sign of a criminal offence noted in actions of certain individuals, it is necessary to assess the circumstances in the light of administrative offences. Also, if concrete actions of specific public servants do not represent crime or a disciplinary offence it should be assessed whether it constituted disciplinary infraction or not. The Public Defender of Georgia will monitor responses on their above-mentioned incidents on the part of all responsible agencies.

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