Statement of the Democracy Research Institute on the arrests of protesters

The Democracy Research Institute responds to the trials of administrative detainees during the demonstration near the Parliament of Georgia on November 18, 2019, and considers that detainees  right to a fair trial was violated.

According to the Democracy Research Institute, there were a number of procedural violations documented by lawyers and the media during the detainees' court hearings, including: Determining inappropriately little time for  Advocates to gather evidence, ask questions and express their own position; Delayed start of scheduled processes, which in some cases violated the terms of detention prescribed by the law; Unjustified unification of the detainees’ cases;  allowing video recordings as evidence without checking their authenticity and identity of those involved; The template material presented by the police, without considering the individual characteristics of the people involved and the actual circumstances of the case - again prove that the court remains as a tool for political retribution.

Alongside gross procedural violations, during the court hearings, some of the detainees' allegations about the physical assault and excessive use of force by the police was left out of the judge’s attention.

Given that ineffective investigations of human rights violations perpetrated by law enforcement officials have been a fundamental problem over the years, the Democracy Research Institute calls on the newly-formed State Inspector’s Service to ensure an impartial and effective investigation of the facts of the detainees physical assault and the abuse of power by the police.