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

2009-04-28 20:00
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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.