NGOs: Investigation into June 20 Events Reveals Selective Approach

NGOs say the investigation into the events of June 20 reveals a selective approach.

As stated by NGOs operating in Georgia, steps taken by the state so far failed to gain public trust in terms of conducting investigation impartially and objectively. 

“Unfortunately, the prosecutor’s office’s motions for pre-trial detention are mostly similar to templates and are based on general reasoning.

To date, 19 protesters and only 2 police officers have been charged.

The steps taken by investigative bodies, in certain cases, leave the impression that they do not serve a full and objective examination of the case, but rather spreading negative opinions about the accused.

This assessment is further aggravated by the fact that the public has not received a complete response to the actual measures taken by the police against the law enforcers who used excessive force against demonstrators on 20-21 June, with the exception of two cases. All offenders have not been identified and charged. However, neither the Minister of Internal Affairs shared political responsibility nor the systemic problems identified during the raid of the rallies have been analyzed and realized”, the joint statement of the NGOs reads.

According to their information, the Central Criminal Police Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs has been investigating the incident that took place in front of the Parliament on June 20-21, 2019 on charges of organizing, leading and participating in group violence. Nika Melia, the opposition leader, has been charged with bail and other restrictions. The politician Irakli Okruashvili and 17 others have been sentenced to pre-trial detention. The Prosecutor General's Office of Georgia says specific investigations into the excessive use of force by police during the dispersal of the rally are also underway, but at present only two police officers have been charged.

The protests sparked in Georgia’s capital of Tbilisi on June 20 after Russian MP Sergei Gavrilov addressed the participants of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy being held in the Parliament of Georgia from the Speaker’s chair, speaking in Russian.

The riot police used rubber bullets and tear gas against the participants of the demonstration on June 20, after some of the protestors tried to forcefully enter the Parliament building. Two non-violent young demonstrators lost an eye each, while a total of 240 people, including 80 police officers, were hospitalized. 

Since June 20, peaceful demonstrations have been held every day in Georgia's capital Tbilisi. The protestors have one demand yet to be fulfilled: the resignation of Minister Gakharia for excessive use of force and violating the rights of peaceful protestors during the rally. 

The Minister has said he does not intend to resign.

Photo: თავისუფლებისათვის/For Freedom/Facebook 

By Ana Dumbadze  

14 August 2019 16:28
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