On February 19, 2021, police arrested 25 people, including members of a political party, during a protest rally in front of the Georgian Parliament. Given the small number of protesters, this figure is alarmingly high.
According to the media reports, today, on February 21, the participants of the peaceful protest rally in front of the Parliament of Georgia were detained again. At the same time, amid the tense political situation in the country, the protests are expected to intensify. The Ministry of Internal Affairs is obliged to ensure the peaceful administration of the constitutional right to assemblies and demonstrations. The state should refrain from such actions, which will further aggravate the ongoing situation and stimulate the protests to go out of control.
We call on the Ministry of Internal Affairs to act with extreme caution and strictly adhere to the requirements of the Constitution and the law. It should be stressed that Article 2, Paragraph 3 of the Law of Georgia on Assemblies and Demonstrations obliges the police to be guided by the principle of proportionality when making any decision aimed at restricting the freedom of assembly. The responsibility for the law enforcement agencies' disproportionate and/or illegal demands to the protesters and the escalation of the situation by enforcing these demands lies entirely with the state.
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