DRI: Attacks by violent groups are incited by the Government

Violent groups did not allow Levan Berdzenishvili, who arrived in Kvareli to hold a public lecture on January 15, 2023, to enter the building of the Euro-Atlantic Center and hold a lecture there. According to the media reports,[1] local representatives of the Conservative Movement/Alt-Info were among the attackers.

In recent years, journalists, civil activists and opposition MPs have often become victims of verbal and/or physical attacks by offenders incited by the ruling party. The failure of the authorities to punish the organizers of the violence committed on July 5 and 6, 2021 have incited the violent groups to act freely. The ineffective action of the investigative bodies relating to the July events has strengthened the suspicion that the authorities may be using the organizers of violent groups for their own partisan purposes.

During the attack in Kvareli on January 15, 2023, civil servants were noticed among the people gathered, which indicates that the physical retaliation against those critical of the Government are probably incited by the authorities. Until now, no one from the highest political officials has responded to the attack in Kvareli, which is an alarming case of restriction of freedom of expression.

Protecting and ensuring freedom of expression is the responsibility of the State, which is obliged to give everyone the opportunity to freely, safely and non-violently express their opinion and attitude towards various events. During the attack in Kvareli, the inaction of the law enforcement officers was obvious.[2] The footage released shows that the law enforcement officers mobilized on the spot did not ensure Levan Berdzenishvili's freedom of movement or safe entry into the building. The group of attackers consisted of several dozen people. In case of mobilization of law enforcement officers in relatively large numbers and/or their adequate action, they would have been able to ensure the safe movement of Levan Berdzenishvili.

Accordingly, we can conclude that the intentional inaction of the law enforcement officials helped the violent groups to achieve their goal and limit Levan Berdzenishvili's freedom of expression.

The Democracy Research Institute calls on the Georgian Government to:

  • stop the obvious practice of inciting violent groups;
  • ensure that the high political officials of the Government unambiguously and unequivocally support the protection of freedom of expression;
  • ensure that the law enforcement agencies respond quickly and immediately to the incidents of restrictions on freedom of expression and physical attacks.


[1] (website), "The police didn't even think of helping me enter the hall," Levan Berdzenishvili was not allowed to deliver a lecture in Kvareli. Available at:

[2] (website), Levan Berdzenishvili was not allowed to deliver a lecture in Kvareli. Available at: