In an attempt to show its readiness for transparency the Georgian Interior Ministry has invited foreign diplomats to keep a close eye on police and protesters’ actions from a specially set up monitoring center.
“It will be a headquarters with police officials and foreign observers,” Shota Utiashvili, head of the Interior Ministry’s information and analytical department, told Civil.Ge on April 8. “CCTV cameras that have been installed on all the main thoroughfares [including on Rustaveli Avenue that will be a focal point of the protest rallies planned to start from April 9] will also be used for that purpose.”
He also said that the Interior Ministry had already received consent from number of diplomats on that type of cooperation, but he declined to specify.
Irakli Alasania, leader of Alliance for Georgia, said that the opposition was willing to cooperate with the law enforcement agencies through liaison officers from the both sides to provide security during the rallies. “During the protest rallies, those people, whom we will instruct to keep an eye on security, will have contact with local law enforcement agencies in order to avoid provocations. This is our desire,” Alasania said.
Utiashvili said that the Interior Ministry was ready for that type of cooperation with the opposition, but he also added that the opposition had not yet approached the Interior Ministry with that proposal.
Sozar Subari, the Georgian public defender, said on April 3 that his office would closely monitor situation during the rallies through 100-strong team of observers from his office and from number of nongovernmental organizations cooperating with the Public Defender’s Office (PDO) dressed in special uniforms.
Meanwhile, a group of non-governmental organizations, led by Former Political Prisoners for Human Rights, also set up a monitoring team under the name Public Advocacy with an aim to observe situation during the rallies.
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