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HRHF raises concerns about arrests and prosecutions following June protests in Tbilisi, Georgia

Following up on excessive use of force against protestors in June in Tbilisi, Georgia, HRHF and Human Rights House Tbilisi raise concerns relating to the arrests and prosecutions following the protests, in a statement set to be delivered at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council on 26 September 2019.

Human Rights House Foundation and Human Rights House Tbilisi highlight issues around freedom of assembly, and shrinking civic space identified in the High Commissioner’s latest report on Georgia. We ask the High Commissioner what concrete steps should be taken to address these negative trends?

We previously highlighted the excessive use of force shown by security forces against protestors in Tbilisi on 20 June.

We now have concerns relating to the arrests and prosecutions following the protests. We are concerned about a lack of credible or substantial evidence against those charged with offences, including an opposition MP.

Alongside these arrests are a series of investigations into various individuals who have been vocal in their opposition to the government.

Given the timing and perceived irregularities in procedure, such developments will have a “chilling effect” on a range of rights, including freedom of assembly and association, and freedom of expression.

We, therefore, call on Georgia to:

  1. Launch an independent investigation into the use of excessive force by security forces
  2. Provide greater transparency in criminal investigations relating to the June protests
  3. Ensure that the Prosecutor’s Office upholds the rule of law and conducts its investigations in a fair and transparent manner
  4. Ensure space for political dissent, as well as broadcasting and editorial independence, in conformity with international human rights law.

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