NGO: 60 People Detained During Police Raids in Tbilisi Nightclubs

Non-Governmental Organization, the White Noise Movement, has released a statement regarding the Friday night police raids in Tbilisi nightclubs Bassiani and Café Gallery, saying around 60 people have been arrested during the special operation and at the protest rally, held by young people at midnight.

“Special Forces of the Government of Georgia dispersed night clubs operating in Tbilisi, raided and abused civilians there, beat youth up with batons, and detained citizens who went there to support the people already assembled. About 60 people have been detained and the whereabouts of half of them is unknown,” the statement of the organization reads.

The NGO added that the explanation of the Interior Ministry, that the raids were carried out to detain drug dealers, is a lie.

“The special operation was preceded by a smear campaign against the club stage and independent movements. The campaign was headed by fascist groups, pro-Russian regressive forces that are fighting the most precious achievement of the independent Georgian youth culture - freedom, equality and ideas of solidarity,” White Noise said.

The NGO 'Institute for Development of Freedom of Information' (IDFI) says the Interior Ministry should give a detailed and proper explanation about the motives behind the raid.

“The recent developments contradict the protection of human rights, which is guaranteed by our constitution,” Giorgi Beraia, IDFI representative stated.

Nino Lomjaria, Georgian Public Defender, arrived at the clubs after the raids. She said she met the Deputy Interior Minister and had a communication with Giorgi Gakharia, the Vice-Premier and Interior Minister.

“We will study this case. It is important that freedom of expression was ensured at the protest rallies, held after the raids by the NGOs and citizens,” Lomjaria stated.

By Thea Morrison

Photo source: Netgazeti

12 May 2018 11:11