GEORGIA: POLICE VIOLENTLY DISPERSE PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATION. STATEMENT OF THE FIRST WORKING GROUP OF THE EAP CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM.
We, participants of the First Working Group on Democracy, Good Governance and Stability of the EaP Civil Society Forum deeply regret the events that took place in the capital of Georgia on 26th of May, when riot police violently dispersed largely peaceful demonstration using excessive force. The violence resulted in the loss of human lives, many demonstrators have been injured, some disappeared and dozens have been arrested.
According to the reports of the domestic and international human rights organizations, police pursued fleeing demonstrators, kicking and beating many, using rubber truncheons. In one case, they chased down demonstrators who had taken shelter in a nearby cinema, detaining them and kicking and beating many as they exited.
Though under the Georgian legislation, the demonstration was unauthorized, nothing can justify prohibited ill-treatment of demonstrators.
We call on the Government of Georgia to launch an immediate, thorough, and impartial investigation into excessive and disproportionate use of force and hold those responsible accountable.
We request from authorities to restrain from politically motivated detentions and unlawful pressure on opposition activists.
We also call upon all political actors and society to restrain from any kind of violence, preserve public accord and promote reconciliation.
We call on the EU to request an independent investigation and monitor the actions taken to safeguard against future human rights violations, and to express its concerns directly to the Georgian government.