Georgian Public Defender: police had legitimate right to use force at June protests, but proportion questionable

  • She noted that there is no information in the investigation materials about who gave the order to use the bullets and the police say that they started using the weapons independently to protect themselves. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge.

Agenda.ge, 26 Jun 2020 - 14:31, Tbilisi,Georgia

The police had a legitimate right to use force at the June 20-21 rally dispersal, but it remains to be seen how proportionate the force used was and whether the force or weapons used by the police were lawful, says Georgian Public Defender Nino Lomjaria.        

At the beginning, the rally was peaceful, but after a certain period of time some protesters began acting violently, so when there is violence, the police certainly have the legitimate right to use force and disperse the rally or use other mechanisms", said Lomjaria.

Lomjaria also noted that there were no warnings from police before using opening fire.

She noted that there is no information in the investigation materials about who gave the order to use the bullets and the police say that they started using the weapons independently to protect themselves.

Lomjaria noted that the former head of the Special Tasks Department on site knew that police did not have the order to use the bullets but he did not do anything to prevent them from using them. She thinks there are grounds to start criminal proceedings against this person.

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