Police are “completely depoliticized” and criticism voiced against the Interior Ministry is often “unfair”, PM Irakli Garibashvili said while addressing a ceremony marking the Georgian Police Day in Black Sea resort town of Batumi on May 30.
“The Georgian police are no longer in a service of any political force and are completely depoliticized and serve the country and the people,” he said. “We have put an end once and for all to police violence against own people.”
He said that criticism voiced against the police is mostly “unfair and not objective.”
“Sometimes, I hear from certain people criticism of policemen’s work. I want to tell you honestly that it upsets me very much, I take it personally and I think that in most of the cases this criticism is unfair and not objective.”
“So I want to ask you all not to give anyone a pretext for criticizing you even groundlessly. Therefore we should be very careful,” Garibashvili added.
He also praised Interior Minister Alexander Tchikaidze and said: “This is a person, who will never let you down.”
Government members, parliament speaker and lawmakers from ruling coalition, as well as invited guests, among them visiting Latvian Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis and Azerbaijani Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov, attended the outdoor ceremony.
The Georgian Police Day was introduced in 2010 and was originally marked on May 6.
UNM opposition party released a statement earlier on May 30, congratulating the police and expressing regret that the authorities did not invite UNM representatives at the ceremony marking the Police Day.
UNM said that failure to invite its representatives was regrettable because “the Shevardnadze-era corrupt police” was transformed into modern police force when the UNM was in power.
Among those invited at the ceremony were several former policemen, who held senior posts in the Interior Ministry during Eduard Shevardnadze’s presidency; Soso Alavidze, former chief of Tbilisi police was also among them. In a separate statement later on May 30, UNM condemned presence of “Shevardnadze-era odious Interior Ministry officials” at the ceremony.