On the night of December 31 staff of Tbilisi Cleaning Municipal Department and law enforcements cleared the territory from the tents pitched on the pavement in front of the Parliament and placed children's attractions instead.
According to paragraph 4 of Article 111 of the Law of Georgia on Assemblies and Manifestations: "It shall be prohibited to artificially block the traffic roadway by cars, various structures and/or items". This norm prohibits the placement of a tent, other structure or object on the traffic roadway, which may block the movement of traffic. The law does not prohibit the placement of tents on the pavement during the assembly and manifestation. To express protest by placing a tent on a sidewalk is not an act prohibited by law but is an integral part of the constitutional right of assembly and manifestation.
Clearing the territory from tents and other items placed on the pavement for the purpose of installing a children's attraction does not constitute a legitimate aim of interfering with the right of assembly, posing no threat to public safety and order. It is noteworthy that the City Hall did not publicly announced that the placement of children's attractions was planned directly in front of the Parliament. City Hall began clean-up work so without proper communication with the organizers of the demonstration.
GYLA is concerned that the government has been responding to public protests lately by demonstrating force, rather than through dialogue with the population. Even in this particular case, the attitude of the authorities is not serious, when the parents of the deceased children and the demonstrators protest the death of the young people, demanding an objective, impartial and timely investigation, the authorities are clearing the territory for the aim of installing of the children's attractions.
Photo by "Public"