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June 1 – Visiting Juvenile Prisoners

On June 1 Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) congratulated the inmates of Penitentiary Department’s Juvenile Detention Centre (the so-called Avchala Colony) on the International Children’s Day.Lawyers of GYLA summarized importance of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child to the juvenile offenders and clarified children’s rights stipulated in the national legislation.

2009-06-05 20:00 See more

Appeal of the Georgian Civil Society Representatives to Goga Khachidze, Minister of Environment Protection and Natural Resources Regarding the World Environment Day

At the modern stage of human development, speed of environment degradation has reached unprecedented scales. As UN assesses, degradation of environment is one of the important factors endangering world peace; hence, UN included preservation of global ecosystem and biodiversity in its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), linking the issue with democracy development, poverty eradication and preservation of human welfare. Progressive society, well-aware of existing threats, has attached greatest importance to environment protection in the 21st century.

2009-06-04 20:00 See more

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association Offers Legal Aid to Victims of the May 6 Incident

Human rights protection and effective ensuring has been the most significant direction of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) ever since it was founded. Helping ordinary citizens restore rights breached by the state remains to be one of the main priorities of GYLA. In its statement released on May 7, 2009 GYLA announced its position and clarified that under the Law on Police of Georgian Legislation police used unlawful means to disperse the rally held on May 6 outside police department.

2009-05-27 20:00 See more

Special Announcement of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association

In response to the proclamation made by certain leaders of the opposition on complete blockage of the railway station and the airport, Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) expresses its concern, as the noted action may cross legal boundaries.Constitution of Georgia protects freedom of assembly and manifestation; more specifically, under Article 25 of the Constitution “everyone, except members of the armed forces and Ministry of Internal Affairs, has the right to public assembly without arms either indoors or outdoors without prior permission”.Despite its particular importance in the process of formation of democratic and pluralistic society, freedom of assembly and manifestation doesn’t fall under the category of absolute rights and may be limited if it conflicts with other legitimate interests.Under Article 9 of the Law of Georgia on Assembly and Manifestation, “holding a rally or a manifestation is forbidden in... railway stations, airports, hospitals, diplomatic establishments and within 20 meter radius from these territories... complete blocking of entrances to these facilities is not allowed.”GYLA calls for protecting law supremacy and acting within frames of and in accordance with the law.

2009-05-26 20:00 See more

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association to Protect Interest of Maestro TV

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) condemns incident that occurred on May 25, at 03:05am when an explosive device was blown up by the entrance of the television company.Regrettably, lately practice of violence and pressure against journalists in Georgia has gradually developed into an alarming trend.GYLA assesses the explosion at Maestro TV as an offensive infringement of freedom of expression and an attempt to terrorize journalists, which at the same time was particularly life threatening.

2009-05-24 20:00 See more

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association to Protect Interest of Maestro TV

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) condemns incident that occurred on May 25, at 03:05am when an explosive device was blown up by the entrance of the television company.Regrettably, lately practice of violence and pressure against journalists in Georgia has gradually developed into an alarming trend.

2009-05-24 20:00 See more

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) condemns unlawful acts of violence committed by police

GYLA comments on the events developed at the MIA Tbilisi police headquarters on 6 May 2009 and unequivocally condemns the fact that the police used equipment, not envisaged by the legislation, against the demonstrators.It is clearly seen from the videos released by the media that many of the demonstrators sustained bodily injuries as a result of plastic bullets. Moreover, as asserted by the Public Defender of Georgia and some other eyewitnesses, the members of MIA Special Forces mobilized at the police headquarters were also throwing stones at the demonstrators.

2009-05-10 20:00 See more

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association makes a statement regarding current situation in Georgia

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) comments on the recent developments in the capital and considers that emerged situation often violates the established legal framework. The increased acts of violence committed against citizens and journalists, unidentified persons’ retaliation against the demonstrators, inaction of the police with respect to those facts and physical and/or moral insult of the peaceful demonstrators from the side of the high officials of the Ministry of Interior supports the above conclusion. Considering the emerged situation GYLA,Urges the authorities to immediately investigate each and every individual case of attacks against the demonstrators. So far Georgian authorities have failed to take any effective measures to establish the identity of those responsible. Thus, the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association expresses objective suspicion that those complicit are acting with the support, incitement or consent of the representatives of the authorities. Urges the opposition to ensure that its individual supporters act in accordance with law. At the same time, GYLA reminds the opposition that it is unacceptable to intervene with the work of the journalists or to use violence against media representatives. It is true notwithstanding how much intolerable is for the opposition and demonstrators the information disseminated or interpreted by media sources.Urges the media to cover current events in an objective, prompt and precise manner. At the same time, the media ought to act with particular attentiveness when reporting or interpreting concrete facts. It is true that the journalist shall not carry burden of proof with respect to the truthfulness of his or her evaluative statements. However, the journalist’s primary responsibility is to objectively cover facts and events and also to ensure presumption of innocence of concrete individuals.  

2009-04-28 20:00 See more

GYLA Statement on Ministry of Internal Affairs’ “Response”

The Georgian Young Lawyers Association is responding to the “response of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) to the accusations expressed during the course of manifestations” that was posted on MIA’s official web-site.  The MIA stated that “victims did not apply to the police” regarding specific incidents of violence.GYLA reminds the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the requirements of Article 261 of the Criminal Procedural Code of Georgia, according to which: “an investigator/ a prosecutor shall initiate criminal proceedings within his/her competence if s/he gets information about a crime committed”. Under Article 263 of the mentioned Code “preliminary investigation shall be opened based on information about a crime committed”. Such information can be passed by individuals or legal entities, state or local self-governing bodies, public officials, operative-investigative bodies or can be obtained through mass-media.GYLA emphasizes the fact that in several cases, patrol police cars were patrolling in the areas where activists of political parties were physically assaulted. Thus, police eye-witnessed the violations and had to react.In addition, information about the concrete incidents was also available from the reports of the Georgian Public Defender. Therefore, the MIA officials had all the necessary information about the concrete incidents and did not have to wait for the victims to apply with complaints.The statement of the Ministry about the incident that took place at 23:00 on April 11th on Rustaveli Avenue, saying that it was “too short and therefore, did not require interference from the police” is also unacceptable. Moreover, that according to the MIA information, during this incident a group of street-cleaners “were assaulted” and “computers and sound equipment were smashed”. Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association considers this statement as unacceptable.Under Georgian Law on Police, as well as according to Order No.1310 of the Minister of Internal Affairs dated from 15 December 2005, it is a direct obligation of patrol police to safeguard public order and prevent crimes. This includes an obligation “to protect those participating in peaceful manifestations, demonstrations and massive assembly of citizens”.GYLA calls upon the Ministry of Internal Affairs to ensure the safety and security of the demonstrators; prevent crime; immediately investigate each incident of physical assault and hold those patrol policemen responsible who neglected their obligations.

2009-04-12 20:00 See more

The Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association condemns repeated attacks against peaceful demonstrators

The Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association condemns repeated attacks and physical violence used against peaceful demonstrators that took place during the last two days and urges the authorities to immediately condemn, prevent and investigate each case of violence. In accordance with the law of Georgia on Police, it is an obligation of the Police “to ensure public safety and security [and] to protect human rights and freedoms against an unlawful violence.” Under Article 8 of the same law, in the course of carrying out its duties, the Police are obliged “to ensure security of those participating in peaceful rallies, demonstrations and manifestations.” In this regard, the statement of one of the victims of violent attacks, that some patrol police officers have been patiently watching them being beaten up by a group of unidentified persons, is particularly sad and alarming.�� The Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association urges the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, to hold those patrol police officers accountable, who, on 10th April, by 8 pm, in contradiction with their duties envisaged by the law, did not protect safety of the activists of the Movement for United Georgia, while they have been physically abused by unidentified persons. The Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association continues monitoring of the demonstrations and offers legal assistance to anyone whose rights and freedoms have been infringed.

2009-04-10 20:00 See more