Trials of Detained Demonstrators Were Held with Grave Violations

The court has, at this point, heard the cases of only 12 of the 37 demonstrators who were arrested at the protest of November 18. Ten of them were sentenced to administrative detention, one was fined, and one was given a verbal warning. The judge was supposed to hear the cases of the remaining demonstrators today, but in the morning it became known that the trials had been postponed. 

It can be argued unequivocally that, in the process of consideration of the detained demonstrators’ cases, the judge ignored the requirements of the law, was biased and restricted the detainees’ rights. Specifically:

Although there was practically no evidence in the cases, on November 20, the Court found all the 12 demonstrators guilty and sentenced 10 of them to administrative detention:

  1. Giga Makarashvili – detention for 12 days;
  2. Beka Basilaia – detention for 13 days;
  3. Elguja Bagrationi – detention for 12 days;
  4. Zuka Berdzenishvili – detention for 7 days;
  5. Irakli Kacharava – detention for 4 days;
  6. Davit Mzhavanadze – detention for 4 days;
  7. Irakli Nadiradze – detention for 13 days;
  8. Dimitri Bidzinashvili – detention for 13 days;
  9. Giorgi Bunturi – detention for 5 days;
  10. Luka Chichinadze – detention for 5 days;
  11. Paata Sosanashvili – a verbal warning;
  12. Guram Mchedlishvili – a fine of GEL 1,000.

Due to the foregoing, it can be argued unequivocally that the trials were biased and politicized.  Against the background when courts rarely apply detention as an administrative penalty, the decisions are taken in relation to the activists obviously point to a possible goal of weakening the protest, which may have a negative effect on freedom of assembly and expression in the future. At the same time, the logic of determining the penalties applied is unclear. The courts approach to the cases has shown that the Court applied stricter penalties against the leaders of the protest, who would presumably be involved in the rally of November 25, Monday. The foregoing once again demonstrates that the situation in the judicial system is extremely grave. These administrative trials have shown that, when desired by the ruling elite, the system is easily used for achieving political ends.

We call upon the ruling party and its leader, Bidzina Ivanishvili, to stop the persecution of activists and political opponents and to abandon the use of state institutions for narrow party interests.


Transparency International Georgia (TI Georgia)

Atlantic Council of Georgia

Society and Banks

Economic Policy Research Center

Center “Empathy”

Article 42 of the Constitution

Georgian Democracy Initiative (GDI)

Media Development Foundation

Green Alternative

Center for Research Journalism and Economic Analysis

International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy

Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC)

Georgia’s Reforms Associates

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA)

Partnership for Human Rights (PHR)

Regional Center for Strategic Research  

Tolerance and Diversity Institute (TDI)

Open Society Georgia Foundation

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