Statement of Non Governmental Organizations on Batumi incident

Non-governmental organizations express concern over the fact of physical and verbal abuse of the GYLA employee by the head of the Adjara Police Main Division, Valerian Telia, on the Griboedov street in Batumi. The information on this incident was reported yesterday.

We think that the actions of the head of the Adjara Police Main Division contained elements of criminal offence. Based on the available information, instead of timely and effectively investigating the case, unfortunately we are witnessing a fact of covering up the crime and an attempt to conduct incomplete investigation.

The fact of the destruction of the video materials, which might have served as important evidence for investigation by the representatives of a law enforcement body is particularly concerning. We believe that the statements of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, with emphases on the guilt of GYLA employee, are biased. MIA recently made the video materials public. Their recent statement that the video does not prove the fact of physical abuse looks like an attempt of deliberately misleading the general public.

Given the above, we appeal to Ministry of Internal Affairs to conduct impartial and effective investigation on the fact of violence and threats as well as destruction of evidence. We also demand from MIA that the head of Adjara Police Main Division be suspended until the investigation is completed.

International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)
Transparency International – Georgia (TI)
Open Society – Georgia Foundation (OSGF)
Georgian Democracy Initiative (GDI)
Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC)
The Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethic
Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI)
Georgian Press Association
Civil Development Agency (CiDA)
Center of Development and Democracy
Green Alternative