U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Chair of the Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, said on February 19: “The people of Georgia deserve to have rule of law, democracy, and an honest and independent judiciary.”
“Over the past several years, we have raised the problem of political prosecutions with Georgian officials many times,” the two Senators went on, adding that “while we are glad to see that opposition leader Nika Melia’s detention has been cancelled, such political prosecutions and arrests should never take place.”
The Senators called for renewed talks between the ruling Georgian Dream party and the opposition, stressing the need to de-escalate the current political atmosphere.
Georgia’s post-October 2020 election political impasse deepened this week, as the court ruled pretrial detention for Nika Melia, Chair of the United National Movement party, over his failure to post increased bail over ripping off his monitoring bracelet in the June 2019 unrest case. Melia’s detention prompted Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia’s controversial resignation.
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