განცხადება ეროვნულ ბიბლიოთეკასთან 8 თებერვალს განვითარებულ მოვლენებთან დაკავშირებითStatement of the Georgian Democracy Initiative on February 8, 2013 events at the National Library

Georgian Democracy Initiative responds to the events of February 8th, 2013 and condemns violent and aggressive actions, which took place nearby the National Library as well as in the area surrounding the Presidential Residence.

Freedom of expression and manifestation, as one of the fundamental rights of each citizen, is a genuine component of each true democratic society. However, when a peaceful manifestation acquires a form of violent action, it goes beyond the frames of protected rights and may cause grave consequences; unfortunately, we faced such situation on February 8, 2013. Due to this very reason, the authorities are obliged to put into force all relevant and effective mechanisms in order to protect citizens’ rights and freedoms from infringement, also to preserve public order.

We believe, in this particular situation, the state was unable to apply effective and adequate measures in order to prevent violence and to provide unimpeded and peaceful performance of the episode planned, despite the fact that – taking into the consideration rather tense emotional background – it was feasible to foresee the escalation of events. As a result, persons invited to listen to the speech of the President were unable to attend the presentation. Moreover, several citizens including representatives of the legislative body ended up being physically and verbally insulted while the police was completely unable to prevent violence in in timely and effective manner.

Georgian Democracy Initiative requests the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor’s office to provide effective, in-depth and unbiased investigation on the facts of violence mentioned above, to detect offenders and to hold them accountable in an adequate and lawful manner.

 It is worth mentioning that the state has a capacity and perspective to move forward only in case there exists a real possibility of cohabitation for people with different views, believes or political visions. The level of respect towards human rights and fundamental freedoms, political pluralism, observance of law by public institutions and each member of the society, represents main background for the democratic development of the country. Society should duly perceive such values and their implementation in everyday life, and the authorities should play decisive role in this process. Regretfully, not only yesterday’s events, but other recent developments, including alarming events that take place at local self-government bodies, once again demonstrated what could be the consequences of inadequate reaction on violence and intolerance. This is why the politicians, especially the ruling coalition, should clearly and unequivocally condemn demonstration of violence in any form, promotion of aggression and encouragement of intolerance.

 Georgian Democracy Initiative once again affirms its concerns on the events which took place on February 8th and expresses its hope that the authorities will perform their obligations in due manner and will provide an objective and efficient investigation as well as deliver clear and correct messages to the society. This is crucial for the respect of the fundamental values of the democratic society, the rule of law principle as well as for the prevention of the future possible facts of violence.