Nika Melia, the imprisoned chairperson of the opposition United National Movement party, said today he is ready to accept the EU-proposed bail solution for his release, if opposition MPs who signed the EU-brokered April 19 deal refrain from registering an amnesty law over the night of June 20-21, 2019.
Melia, who is in pre-trial detention for heading mass violence during June 20, 2019 protests, dubbed the forthcoming amnesty a bill “a shameful attempt to rewrite history,” noting that the Georgian Dream party intends to give pardon to all persons facing charges from June 20-21 events, including police officers and shot-calling officials responsible for dispersing protestors.
The UNM Chair said passing the amnesty law would discredit the opposition, undermine its unity, as well as damage the reputation of the mediators and of Georgia’s international partners “in the eyes of the Georgian people.”
“If it is impossible for the amnesty to only cover the so-called Gavrilov protestors, let there be no amnesty at all,” he said, urging opposition leaders not to put themselves behind the controversial draft bill.
As part of the EU-brokered April 19 agreement to end Georgia’s political crisis, the signatory parties agreed to address the “two cases of perceived politicized justice [Melia and Rurua cases] either by an amnesty and/or by taking such steps as to produce an equivalent outcome.”
This clause, however, stirred controversy among political parties, civil society outfits and the civilians injured during violent dispersal of June 20-21, 2019. Ahead of today’s announcement, Nika Melia also strongly opposed both amnesty and bail as means for his release from pretrial detention.
- EU-Brokered Deal’s Amnesty Clause Stirs Controversy
- April 19 Agreement: Melia’s Release Mechanisms Under Dispute
- President to Pardon Rurua if Parties Agree on Compromise
- U.S. Senators Introduce Resolution On ‘Full Implementation’ of April 19 Agreement