Participation in street disputes becomes criminal offence in Georgia

The Georgian Interior Ministry says that providing tougher sanctions against street disputes was very much needed. Photo:, 31 May 2019 - 12:13, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgia Parliament has approved a bill proposed by the Interior Ministry which makes both passive and active participation in street disputes a criminal offence, punishable by up to two years in prison.

The ministry states that “street disputes are part of the criminal mentality”, when various controversies are “settled with the involvement of people with a criminal mentality or criminal bosses, through illegal methods, leading to more serious offences.”

Such disputes are frequently accompanied by violence, threats and other illegal activities. Crime statistics have depicted the need to provide for tougher punishment in this regard,” Deputy Interior Minister Natia Mezvrishvili told opposition MPs yesterday who said that the measure was “tougher than required.”

Attending such a dispute with prior knowledge can lead to an individual facing both administrative and criminal charges.

The amendments say that participation in street disputes is punishable by a fine or imprisonment.

Last year the Interior Ministry expanded the list of crimes in the criminal code related to so-called criminal bosses and their activities.