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Public Defender Says Missing Protesters Found in Detention
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 14 Jun.'11 / 21:17

Those protesters who were regarded by the Public Defender’s Office (PDO) to be missing after the break up of demonstration on May 26 turned out to be arrested and were found in various detention facilities and currently PDO has no further information about anyone being missing, Giorgi Tugushi, the Georgian public defender, told lawmakers on June 14.

He said that that shortly after the dispersal of the rally his office was contacted by families of dozens of protesters whose whereabouts were not known at the time. Tugushi said that after the monitoring of detention facilities all those protesters, whose families applied to his office, were found in police custody.

“Since then no one has applied to the Public Defender’s Office with the request to assist in finding out whereabouts of protesters,” Tugushi said.

The Public Defender said that he had no reason to believe that there were any missing protesters. “Or if such persons do exist, [their families] have not informed the Public Defender’s Office about it,” Tugushi said.

On May 30 a legal advocacy group, Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA), published on its website a list of 50 persons, who were believed to be missing. Later the number of individuals in the list came down to 45 and few days later the list was removed from the website. GYLA said that some protesters in the list were found. It also said that many families were hesitant to make a formal appeal to the police about missing persons and that only four families had such an intention; but later the group said those four persons were also found. Some human rights activists, however, still claim that there are some protesters, whose whereabouts remain unknown.

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