Police used “excessive” and “disproportionate” force while dispersing protest rally outside the Parliament, Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association and Transparency International Georgia, said in a joint statement.
“Even if the decision of dispersal of the demonstration had been legitimate, video footages disseminated through various media sources clearly show use of excessive force by police,” the statement reads.
“These facts of violence could not be left without legal assessment and adequate investigation. Relying on the information disseminated by media sources, dispersal of manifestation was followed by disproportionate use of force, beating of detained demonstrators, who did not show resistance towards police,” the two watchdog groups said. “On the basis of the above-mentioned, according to GYLA and TI-Georgia there are signs of excessive use of force and crimes committed by police.”
The statement also notes about the cases when the journalists were either attacked or hindered to perform their duties. Several Georgian journalists reported about police physically assaulted them; some reported that their either video camera or memory card of photo camera were seized. A journalist from the Georgian news agency, InterPressNews, was arrested by the police; he was later released.