Public Defender’s Office to request investigation on alleged “improper treatment” of opposition MP by law enforcement

18.04.24 15:30

The Georgian Public Defender’s Office on Thursday said it would ask the country’s Special Investigation Service to launch an investigation into alleged “improper treatment” of Aleko Elisashvili, the leader of the Citizens opposition party, by law enforcement during protests against the controversial domestic bill on transparency of foreign influence on Wednesday.


The Office called on the Service to “immediately” start the investigation and “conduct all investigative actions” to identify persons responsible, adding the body would “monitor the effectiveness of the investigation”.


The body also said its representative had visited an individual arrested on Wednesday during the protests outside the Parliament in the country’s capital Tbilisi, who has claimed that their arrest was made “without grounds”.


It noted the location of another person who was detained during the rally was being clarified and the Public Defender’s representative would visit the individual “in the coming hours”.


Protesters against the bill clashed with law enforcement in the capital city on Wednesday, with two individuals arrested by police.


The protests were launched against the legal initiative that calls for registration of non-commercial legal entities and media outlets in the country as “pursuing the interests of a foreign power” if they derive more than 20 percent of their funding from abroad.


The ruling party has brought it back after its original version was retracted last year following public protests, and has been met by criticism from the domestic opposition, non-governmental sector and some of Georgia’s foreign partner governments and diplomatic representations in the country.




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