Ombudswoman responds to UNM rally arrests, urges MIA to inform families of arrested

Police arrested 46 citizens on today's UNM rallies. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 10 Nov 2021 - 21:35, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Public Defender Nino Lomjaria has responded to the arrests of 46 citizens on today's United National Movement (UNM) rallies, saying that some families have not been informed about the whereabouts of the arrested.

The Ombudswoman said that her representatives have visited 23 arrested citizens during the day. However, some detainees still cannot be located by their lawyers and families.

Lomjaria added that even when the lawyers determine the whereabouts of their clients, they 'encounter hours of obstruction' in meeting them.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs, unfortunately, has continued the practice that is not in compliance with human rights. In particular, they do not inform family members or lawyers about the whereabouts of the detainees in a timely manner or do not inform them at all, she said.

Lomjaria called on the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) to 'immediately' inform the families and lawyers about the whereabouts of the arrested, and ensure that lawyers meet their clients 'without obstacles.'

MIA said the UNM activists violated the law of assembly and demonstration, attempting to block state buildings and disobeying police officers. 

The UNM members and supporters demand the transfer of the imprisoned former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili to a civil clinic from a prison hospital, his eventual release from prison, and the annulment of the 2021 municipal election results.

They say the rallies will not stop until all their demands are fulfilled by the government.