DRI: Not allowing demonstrators to enter the City Assembly building contradicts the principle of publicity of representative bodies

Monitors of the Democracy Research Institute observed a rally organized by opposition political parties and civil movements[1] in front of the Tbilisi City Assembly on January 27.

Objective of the rally

The rally was aimed at protesting against the physical assault on Levan Khabeishvili, a member of the Tbilisi City Assembly. Demonstrators demanded a timely and objective investigation of the abuse of the MP and criminal persecution of the offenders.

Monitoring results  

According to the monitors of the Democracy Research Institute, about 100 people took part in the rally. About 50 representatives of the Security Service of the City Hall, Patrol and Criminal Police were mobilized around the City Assembly building. People in plain clothes, who had frequent and direct communication with law enforcers, were representatives of the law enforcement agencies themselves.

Protesters violated the law,[2] when putting up the photos of the lawmakers involved in the assault on Levan Khabeishvili, with the caption "Abuser", on the outer façade of the Tbilisi City Assembly building.

Obstacles encountered by demonstrators

Despite the permission obtained by the demonstrators, they were not allowed to enter the building for an unclear reason. In spite of the fact that according to the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament of Georgia, a Member of Parliament has the right to enter all state institutions without any obstacle, law enforcers did not allow MPs from the United National Movement[3] to enter the City Assembly building. Neither Irakli Nadiradze, a member of the Tbilisi City Assembly, was allowed to enter the building.

The Democracy Research Institute underlines that this is not the first case,[4] when protesters were denied access to an administrative building despite having the relevant permission, which contradicts the principle of publicity and accessibility of representative bodies and represents a wrong practice.





[1] Change and Dare civil movements

[2] Administrative Offences Code, Article 150

[3] Salome Samadashvili and Badri Basishvili

[4] Protesters were not allowed to enter the Parliament building on January 21 as well, despite their permit.