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Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) condemns unlawful acts of violence committed by police

GYLA comments on the events developed at the MIA Tbilisi police headquarters on 6 May 2009 and unequivocally condemns the fact that the police used equipment, not envisaged by the legislation, against the demonstrators.It is clearly seen from the videos released by the media that many of the demonstrators sustained bodily injuries as a result of plastic bullets. Moreover, as asserted by the Public Defender of Georgia and some other eyewitnesses, the members of MIA Special Forces mobilized at the police headquarters were also throwing stones at the demonstrators.

2009-05-10 20:00 See more

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association makes a statement regarding current situation in Georgia

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) comments on the recent developments in the capital and considers that emerged situation often violates the established legal framework. The increased acts of violence committed against citizens and journalists, unidentified persons’ retaliation against the demonstrators, inaction of the police with respect to those facts and physical and/or moral insult of the peaceful demonstrators from the side of the high officials of the Ministry of Interior supports the above conclusion. Considering the emerged situation GYLA,Urges the authorities to immediately investigate each and every individual case of attacks against the demonstrators. So far Georgian authorities have failed to take any effective measures to establish the identity of those responsible. Thus, the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association expresses objective suspicion that those complicit are acting with the support, incitement or consent of the representatives of the authorities. Urges the opposition to ensure that its individual supporters act in accordance with law. At the same time, GYLA reminds the opposition that it is unacceptable to intervene with the work of the journalists or to use violence against media representatives. It is true notwithstanding how much intolerable is for the opposition and demonstrators the information disseminated or interpreted by media sources.Urges the media to cover current events in an objective, prompt and precise manner. At the same time, the media ought to act with particular attentiveness when reporting or interpreting concrete facts. It is true that the journalist shall not carry burden of proof with respect to the truthfulness of his or her evaluative statements. However, the journalist’s primary responsibility is to objectively cover facts and events and also to ensure presumption of innocence of concrete individuals.  

2009-04-28 20:00 See more

GYLA Statement on Ministry of Internal Affairs’ “Response”

The Georgian Young Lawyers Association is responding to the “response of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) to the accusations expressed during the course of manifestations” that was posted on MIA’s official web-site.  The MIA stated that “victims did not apply to the police” regarding specific incidents of violence.GYLA reminds the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the requirements of Article 261 of the Criminal Procedural Code of Georgia, according to which: “an investigator/ a prosecutor shall initiate criminal proceedings within his/her competence if s/he gets information about a crime committed”. Under Article 263 of the mentioned Code “preliminary investigation shall be opened based on information about a crime committed”. Such information can be passed by individuals or legal entities, state or local self-governing bodies, public officials, operative-investigative bodies or can be obtained through mass-media.GYLA emphasizes the fact that in several cases, patrol police cars were patrolling in the areas where activists of political parties were physically assaulted. Thus, police eye-witnessed the violations and had to react.In addition, information about the concrete incidents was also available from the reports of the Georgian Public Defender. Therefore, the MIA officials had all the necessary information about the concrete incidents and did not have to wait for the victims to apply with complaints.The statement of the Ministry about the incident that took place at 23:00 on April 11th on Rustaveli Avenue, saying that it was “too short and therefore, did not require interference from the police” is also unacceptable. Moreover, that according to the MIA information, during this incident a group of street-cleaners “were assaulted” and “computers and sound equipment were smashed”. Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association considers this statement as unacceptable.Under Georgian Law on Police, as well as according to Order No.1310 of the Minister of Internal Affairs dated from 15 December 2005, it is a direct obligation of patrol police to safeguard public order and prevent crimes. This includes an obligation “to protect those participating in peaceful manifestations, demonstrations and massive assembly of citizens”.GYLA calls upon the Ministry of Internal Affairs to ensure the safety and security of the demonstrators; prevent crime; immediately investigate each incident of physical assault and hold those patrol policemen responsible who neglected their obligations.

2009-04-12 20:00 See more

The Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association condemns repeated attacks against peaceful demonstrators

The Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association condemns repeated attacks and physical violence used against peaceful demonstrators that took place during the last two days and urges the authorities to immediately condemn, prevent and investigate each case of violence. In accordance with the law of Georgia on Police, it is an obligation of the Police “to ensure public safety and security [and] to protect human rights and freedoms against an unlawful violence.” Under Article 8 of the same law, in the course of carrying out its duties, the Police are obliged “to ensure security of those participating in peaceful rallies, demonstrations and manifestations.” In this regard, the statement of one of the victims of violent attacks, that some patrol police officers have been patiently watching them being beaten up by a group of unidentified persons, is particularly sad and alarming.�� The Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association urges the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, to hold those patrol police officers accountable, who, on 10th April, by 8 pm, in contradiction with their duties envisaged by the law, did not protect safety of the activists of the Movement for United Georgia, while they have been physically abused by unidentified persons. The Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association continues monitoring of the demonstrations and offers legal assistance to anyone whose rights and freedoms have been infringed.

2009-04-10 20:00 See more

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association condemns dispersal of peaceful manifestation held by the movement “why?” in front of the building of public broadcaster and the violence used against the journalists present there.

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association condemns dispersal of peaceful manifestation held by the movement “why?” in front of the building of public broadcaster and the violence used against the journalists present there.In accordance with the Constitution of Georgia everyone enjoys freedom of speech and expression, which implies the right to protest. Furthermore, Article 25 of the Constitution stipulates, that everyone, except for members of the armed forces and ministry of internal affairs has the right to public assembly without arms either indoors or outdoors without prior permission.Those participating in the manifestation on April 6 were assembled in front of the public broadcasting and were acting within the limits of the right granted upon them by the Constitution. They neither blocked the road nor the entrance and stairs of the Public Broadcaster. It is evident from the media reports that it was the patrol police that was mobilized in advance to the manifestation and occupied the entrance of the building as well as the stairs.In accordance with the Constitution of Georgia, the authorities have a right to halt assemblies and manifestations only if they acquire an unlawful character. Since the manifestation at issue was not held in public thoroughfare, there was no need for prior notification of the authorities. Moreover, there were no unlawful appeals made at the manifestation.As envisaged in Article 4(2) of the Law of Georgia on Police police is under an obligation to respect and protect human rights and freedoms of individuals notwithstanding their nationality, social, or property status, racial or national belonging, sex, age, education, language and religion, political or other views.In accordance with the United Nations, Council of Europe and Georgia’s Police code of ethics, police when using force has to strictly act in accordance with the principles of “absolute necessity” and “proportionality”. Moreover, the police shall not use or minimize use of force when assemblies and manifestations are being held.Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association urges the authorities to hold accountable those who abused their power and interfered with the lawful exercise of the right to assemble. Georgian Young Lawyers Association further demands to urgently respond to acts of violence carried out against the journalists. 

2009-04-06 20:00 See more

GYLA’s observation Mission for November 3, 2008 Adjara Supreme Council Elections

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association is observing: Pre-election, Election Day and Post-election proceedings of the Adjara Supreme Council elections. GYLA’s Election observation mission is supported by the Embassy of the Federal republic of Germany and Embassy of the Great Britain in Tbilisi. GYLA has accredited its observers at 140 election precincts, which were identified as the most problematic election precincts during the previous Parliamentary and Presidential Elections at the territory of Batumi, Kobuleti, Khelvachauri, Keda and Khulo Election Districts.

2008-11-01 20:00 See more

The Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association in cooperation with the International Labor Organization (ILO) arranged two day training dedicated to the Human Trafficking.

Training was hosted by the Kristin Dadey expert from the International Organization for Migration.Participants were representatives of different NGOs, advocates working in the field of criminal law and consultants. State Fund for Protection and Assistance for Victims/Statutory Victims of Trafficking, and its mobile group.Mainly discussed issues: Guidelines for legal aid providers, regarding the treatment of Human Trafficking, Guidelines and Recommendations in Assisting Trafficked Persons, Case management, Interviewing Techniques Fundamentals, Referral systems and Guidelines for interviewing children.Participants were awarded with the certificates.Training was arranged with the financial support of International Labor Organization.

2008-10-01 20:00 See more

September 28 – Right To Know International Day

On September 28, Right to Know International Day, at 14:00, in Gori was held round table named Transparency, Accountability and Participation in Democratic Support. The event was organized by the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association, Green Alternative and Transparency International – Georgia.After the tragic events that took place in Georgia in August 2008 the international financial institutions (World Bank, Asia Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Monetary Fund), European Council, USA and other donors plan to allocate major sums in order to support Georgia. These sums would ensure the reduction of the damage resulting from conflict and support Georgia’s further development. However, in order to properly allocate and distribute the funds and ensure proper results, it is important that the process of prioritization and disbursement of the money is based on the principles of transparency and participation.

2008-09-28 20:00 See more

Statement of the Civil Organizations of Georgia

The events that have been taking place in Georgia in August 2008 have been unanimously recognized by the civilized world as Russia’s open military aggression against Georgia.  Russia decided to punish the small neighboring county, which has been striving to become a modern developed state.   Despite the military aggression of an unthinkable scale Georgia refused to give up such values as freedom, statehood, rule of law, civil society and democratic governance.

2008-08-20 20:00 See more

Georgia in State of War with The Russian Federation - NON-PAPER of the group of Georgian students

Note: This is a brief document that summarizes the facts that took place during the last days on the territory of Georgia. This paper focuses on the qualification of the current facts with respect to the situation between Russian Federation and Georgia as of August 9, 2008. This document represent a copyright of a small group of Students from Georgia, who remain solely responsible to all interpretation given to the facts in context of Jus Ad Bellum and Jus in Bello and does not represent an official opinion of any Government, Institution or Agency. NonPaper of the group of students from Georgia

2008-08-08 20:00 See more