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Prosecutors Investigate Police Use of Force During Tbilisi Protests, Reach out to Ombudsperson

The Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation on charges of exceeding official powers by the police against certain participants during the June 20-21 rally in front of the Parliament of Georgia in Tbilisi.

The investigation is underway under the article 333 of the Criminal Code, which carries a range of penalties depending on the gravity of the case from a monetary fine, to house arrest from 6 months to two years, to imprisonment up to 3 years, or the ban on holding public positions for up to three years.

Prosecutor’s Office calls on demonstrators to provide evidence available in addition to the photographic and video materials already obtained by them, to reconstruct the “full picture” of Thursday’s developments on Rustaveli Avenue and aiming “not to leave even one minor violation without an adequate response.”

For more transparency, Prosecutor’s Office welcomes also the Public Defender’s engagement in the process.

Interior Ministry also announced later on today that ten law enforcers, who took part in the recent clash on Rustaveli Avenue have been suspended of their official duties pending inquest, the cases of two of them, according to MIA were referred to the Prosecutor’s Office due to potential violations of the Criminal Code.

Public Defender’s Response

Public Defender Nino Lomjaria state in response to the Prosecutor’s Office that she will engage in the process if her office has full access to the investigation materials “for the purpose of carrying out the supervisory function” she said the office’s “involvement will be as transparent as possible.”

“For this purpose, a public advisory council will be set up in the Public Defender’s Office, and human rights organizations, members of the organizational group of the rallies and international experts will be invited to join,” Lomjaria stated.

Lomjaria also plans to “study and evaluate systemic problems relating to the organization of rallies in the country,” as “the rallies held in recent years showed serious shortfalls in terms of organization of demonstrations and counter-demonstrations, as well as in relation to the execution of decisions relating to the dispersal of demonstrations, which in most cases fail to meet the international standards for the freedom of assembly and the freedom of expression.”

Public Defender calls on Prosecutor’s Office,  Ministry of Internal Affairs, State Security Service, Special State Protection Service and all other relevant agencies to cooperate.

For more follow our tag on Tbilisi protests

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