Rights groups have called on the authorities to investigate attack on UNM lawmaker Nugzar Tsiklauri “promptly, efficiently and objectively.”
“Only such investigation can dispel suspicions about possible motives behind the incident,” the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; Transparency International Georgia; International Society for Fair Elections; Georgian Democracy Initiative; Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center; Tolerance and Diversity Institute said in their joint statement.
It says that the Parliament will fail to perform its government oversight functions properly if its members “are not protected from pressure and physical retribution”, which may have political motives.
Public Defender, Ucha Nanuashvili, has also called for a prompt and efficient investigation of the attack.
UNM opposition party said that the authorities bear responsibility for this attack against their fierce critic. MP Davit Bakradze, the leader of UNM parliamentary minority group called on the authorities not try to portray the attack as a personal conflict between MP Tsiklauri and attackers, who, he said, were “well-trained masked men, armed with electroshock” devices. He also said that any delay in investigation will only fuel suspicions that the group of attackers has links with security services.
Tsiklauri, who had bruises visible on his face, says that he was attacked at about 3am on March 31 by seven or eight masked men just outside the entrance of an apartment building in Digomi district of Tbilisi as he was on his way back home. He said that assailants tried to drag him into one of the three cars they had arrived. According to one neighbor, who says that she has witnessed the incident from her home’s window, several men were beating one man and trying to drag him into a car. Tsiklauri says that attackers left the scene after his resistance caused noise, which alerted neighbors.
Tsiklauri’s lawyer, Giorgi Kondakhishvili, said that it was an attempted abduction and investigators should no longer treat the case under the provision of criminal code which deals with cases of minor health impairment.