Public Defender’s Statement on Events Developed in Rioni Gorge
The Public Defender has been actively monitoring the events developing in the Rioni Gorge today. A representative of the Public Defender has been in the gorge all day long, including at the site where police dismantled protesters' tents, and had direct communication with the parties. The Public Defender will further examine the legality of the decision to dismantle tents.
The road from Kutaisi to Namokhvani has been blocked by the police in one direction for several days now, while today the road was blocked in the other direction by protesters after the police dismantled their tents. Protesters demand to be allowed to continue their rally in Namokhvani. In accordance with the rights enshrined in the Constitution of Georgia, in order to avoid unjustified interference with the freedom of assembly, the Public Defender calls on the Ministry of Internal Affairs:
- To immediately give the protesters an opportunity to continue their rally at the alternative place suggested by them and if there is a justified reason for refusing to do so, allocate the kind of alternative place close to the desired location, which will not make the rally pointless.
- To provide the public with detailed information on the reasons and duration of the road closure in the village of Namokhvani.
- The Public Defender’s Office continues to examine the ongoing events and alleged human rights violations in the Rioni Gorge in detail. Information of the results of the examination will be additionally provided to the population.