MIA Showcases Violent Rally Dispersals Abroad, Threatens Similar Actions Against Agents’ Bill Protesters

On May 8, the Director of the Central Criminal Police Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Teimuraz Kupatadze, held a briefing to show how the European and American governments disperse protests through a specially prepared collage of the scenes of rally dispersal abroad and warned the demonstrators against the Foreign Agents bill that the Georgian MIA will use the same “strict measures” to prevent “violent rallies”.

Kupatadze emphasized that the Georgian police always act in accordance with international standards during rallies and demonstrations. “The instructions developed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs regulating the management of rallies and demonstrations are fully in line with the OSCE/ODIHR guidelines. Accordingly, the implementation of special measures by law enforcement officers is carried out in accordance with internationally recognized standards, and in response to developments, the police acted similarly during the recent rallies,” – he noted during the briefing.

Kupatadze stressed that Georgian law enforcement officers have been trained in European countries in accordance with international standards and have appropriate training in crisis management, effective management of rallies and demonstrations, and in the use of force to maintain public order during public demonstrations. He added that all the equipment that the riot police uses is also in accordance with the international standards and most of it has been purchased from European countries.

Kupatadze also showed the attendees the videos of violent rally dispersals in different countries. “The developed world agrees that the maintenance of law and order in any state is the main task of the police, and these footage also confirm that the police in all countries have the right to act in accordance with the law and, within the limits of their authority, to use the most severe and often unacceptable measures for the public,” Kupatadze stated.

He noted that during the ongoing rallies against the Foreign Agents bill the demonstrations “turned violent” on numerous occasions and that the riot police used “proportional force” in order to disperse the rallies.

“We warn all the participants and organizers of the rally that if the police, in accordance with the law, is starting to prevent the violent actions of the participants of the rally, strict measures will be taken, as they are taken in the leading countries of America and Europe,” Kupatadze concluded.

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