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Two Policemen Detained over Attack on Deaf Minor

The State Inspector’s Service announced today that two policemen have been detained over the attack on a 17-year-old deaf adolescent at the Isani subway station in Tbilisi.

The agency said one of the cops stands accused of humiliation or inhuman treatment by an official or a person holding an equivalent position, by abusing the official position and knowingly by the offender against a minor, a person arrested or otherwise deprived of freedom or a helpless person.

The crime, under Article 144.3 (2a, 2b, 2g) of the Criminal Code is punishable by a prison term of five to ten years, and possibly with deprivation of the right to hold any office or carry out activities for up to five years and with restriction of the rights to carry weapons.

The other policeman, who according to footage aired by local media stood by and watched while the attack took place, is accused of abuse of official powers.

The offense, under Article 332 (1) of the Criminal Code is punishable by a fine, house arrest for six months to two years, or by imprisonment for up to three years, with deprivation of the right to hold an office or to carry out activities for up to three years.

The State Inspector’s Service revealed that the attack took place on January 23, as well as provided additional information on the incident. Namely, the agency said that the police officer who detained the young person on the subway escalator escorted him to a police room at the station, where another policeman allegedly attacked the victim.

It noted that the 17-year-old minor has received injuries to his head and face as a result of the assault.

Attack spurs concerns over police state

The Social Justice Center, a Tbilisi-based watchdog, stated on January 24 that the attack “cannot be an isolated incident.”

The watchdog found it alarming that there have been several “evident” instances of police brutality recently, adding that such practices demonstrate the closed system and the lacking accountability of the Interior Ministry.

According to the Social Justice Center, the political elite has yet to carry out substantial reforms aimed at preventing police brutality.

The incident also spurred a protest rally outside the ruling Georgian Dream party headquarters and the Interior Ministry building yesterday. Meanwhile today, Georgia’s Greens are to hold a demonstration outside the Government Administration building against “police state.”

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