Democracy research Institute observed the anti-occupation rally

On June 20, 2020, Democracy Research Institute observed an anti-occupation  rally ,,1 year after June 20”  organized by civil movements. The demonstration was held to protest the events of June 20, 2019.

The rally was peaceful, About 200 police officers were mobilized on the location.

At about 14:00, traffic on Rustaveli Avenue was restricted. The rally started at 19:30 and was attended by some 2000 people, according to estimations made by Democracy Research Institute observers. At the beginning of the demonstration, the protesters followed the recommendations and maintained a one-meter distance set by the World Health Organization.

In parallel with the rally, civil movement ,,change” activists, held the performance at the entrance of the parliament building with the slogan ,,Together against Occupation.”

The organizers of the rally focused on the importance of Georgia's pro-Western foreign policy, the release of political prisoners, and the need to conduct the next elections by a proportional electoral system.

Democracy Research Institute notes that over the past year, organizers and activists, of the rally, despite the peaceful nature of the event, have repeatedly been the targets of raids, illegal arrests, attacks by violent groups and disruptive discrediting campaigns that have raised questions about the quality of freedom of expression and assembly in Georgia.

Democratic Research Institute calls upon the authorities to ensure the upcoming election process is peaceful and that human rights are protected by:

  • using strict policy against violent groups that support radical ideology
  • Swiftly investigate violations of rallies and demonstrations by these groups to bring those responsible to justice
  • Using effective measures to ensure the prevention of future confrontation and the separation of violent groups and peaceful demonstrators.
  • Ensure an independent, effective, and impartial investigation of the cases on the abuse of power by police during the dispersal of the 20 June 2019 demonstration.