DRI: At least three articles of the European Convention were violated against Zurab Japaridze

On March 7, 2023, late at night, Zurab Japaridze (founder of the Girchi - More Freedom party) was arrested near the Parliament of Georgia when he was talking to the riot police officers at the cordon fortified from the side of Chitadze street.

Japaridze was suddenly pushed and dragged to the yard of the State Security Service base by a group of 10-15 riot police officers, who were not identifiable in accordance with law. According to the Public Defender, Zurab Japaridze has the most severe, visible injury among the detainees. A photo released from the trial clearly shows the injuries/bruises on the victim's scalp. According to the representatives of the party, Zurab Japaridze has a severe pain in the jaws and head, needs computed tomography and, despite the request by the lawyer, no proper medical examination has been provided to him so far.  

According to Article 247 of the Administrative Offences Code of Georgia, in case of administrative detention, the detained person shall be presented to the court at the very first opportunity but not later than 24 hours. In extreme cases, for the purpose of collecting evidence, this period can be extended by not more than 24 hours, one time only.

According to the information available to the Democracy Research Institute, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has not provided any evidence to the court that would have been impossible to obtain within the first 24 hours after the arrest. Therefore, according to the Democracy Research Institute, the extension of the detention period can serve to punish the detainee, to prolong the severe physical pain suffered by him and/or to try to hide his injuries from the public.

The Democracy Research Institute believes that at least Article 3 (Torture, inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment equivalent to it), Article 5 (Right to liberty and security) and Article 10 (Freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights were violated against Zura Japaridze.

The Democracy Research Institute calls on:

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Security Service

To stop the illegal arrests of demonstrators; to stay within the limits defined by law; to fulfill the obligation imposed by the law - to ensure the protection of liberty and safety of demonstrators.

Tbilisi City Court

Based on the fact that the footage of Zurab Japaridze's arrest and ill-treatment is public, which shows  a whole chain of human rights violations, Zurab Japaridze should be released from the hall and his detention should be declared illegal.

Special Investigation Service

Zurab Girchi Japaridze should be immediately granted victim status within the framework of an investigation launched into the abuse of power through violence or use of weapons.