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Rights Group Brings Machalikashvili Case to ECtHR

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Human Rights and Monitoring Center (EMC), a local human rights watchdog, filed on June 5 a lawsuit to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on behalf of the family of Temirlan Machalikashvili. The case, filed under three articles of the European Convention on Human Rights:

  • Right to life (article 2)
  • Prohibition of torture (article 3)
  • Right to an effective remedy (article 13)

concerns to Mr. Machalikashvili, aged 18, who was shot dead during an anti-terror operation by special police forces in December 2017. EMC says “political and legal tools failed to yield tangible results at a national level.”

Speaking at a press conference on June 6, EMC lawyer, Tamta Mikeladze noted that “serious violations took place in the process of planning a special operation, the use of lethal force, and the investigation… the state failed to observe the standards satisfying upholding the right to life,” adding that “the state could have enforced the court ruling [ordering detention of Machalikashvili], without recourse to force, and could have arrested Temirlan Machalikashvili.”

She as “very fragile” arguments provided by the State Security Service of Georgia (SSG), that Machalikashvili tried to resist and accused the agency of “illegal intervention in the investigation” and of tampering with “the most important pieces of evidence.”

EMC expressed hope that ECHR will deliberate an accelerated manner, given the case concerns the violation of the right to life.

Along with EMC, the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC), an international group of lawyers overseen from the UK, will also represent the Machalikashvili family in Strasbourg.

Commenting on the matter, Malkhaz Machalikashvili, Temirlan’s father, expressed hope that “the Strasbourg court will say its word” and that perpetrators will be held accountable.

18-year-old Temirlan Machalikashvili was shot in the head during his detention in December 2017. According to the SSG, he attempted to resist the security forces and tried to detonate a hand grenade, to which the SSG operatives responded with “proportional force.” Machalikashvili’s family denies this and claims he was asleep when officers entered his room and opened fire.

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