Proposal to Ministry of Internal Affairs on Launch of Disciplinary Proceedings

A Public Defender’s representative, who visited detainee D.Kh. at the police station, drug test room and temporary detention facility, witnessed cynical, conflict-provoking, filthy and abusive treatment by police officers on March 13, 2017.

The Public Defender’s representative visited D.Kh. at the Tbilisi Police Department after a notification was received by the Public Defender's Office hotline. The Public Defender’s representative arrived at the Police Department during the questioning of D.Kh., which was attended by a lawyer and a prosecutor. After the questioning, samples were taken from the detainee for the examination. He also passed a drug test and was taken to the temporary detention facility. The Public Defender's representative attended the entire process.

After returning from the drugs test, one of the supporters of the detainee shouted at a police officer at the entrance of the police building. After entering the building, the police officer expressed dissatisfaction about the shouting and verbally abused the author of the shouting, who was a relative of the detainee, which could be heard by the detainee. This fact was personally witnessed by the Public Defender’s representative.

At the meeting with the Public Defender’s representative, the detainee said that he was verbally abused by police officers during the detention (in the evening hours of March 13, 2017,) and that disproportionate physical force was used. The detainee had redness on his forehead, which, according to him, was the result of the injuries inflicted to him during the detention. He also said that he was arrested on the charge of illegal purchase and storage of drugs, though he claims that the drugs were "planted" on him.

On March 14, 2017, the Public Defender of Georgia addressed the Minister of Internal Affairs with a proposal to launch disciplinary proceedings with regard to the unethical actions of police officers. The Public Defender considers that inadequate response to similar facts stains the reputation of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and weakens the confidence of the public in the police.

The Public Defender also calls on the employees of the Ministry Internal Affairs to remain calm in any situation, protect ethical norms and fully respect human rights during performing their duties.

As for the alleged use of excessive force, the Public Defender's Office has already called on the Prosecutor's Office to make an appropriate response to the fact and conduct an investigation.

The Public Defender's Office continues to monitor the mentioned case.

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