GYLA Condemns Beating of Journalist!
Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) condemns physical abuse of journalist Nato Gogelia, Guria News newspaper, which took place at Chokhatauri police department of the Ministry of Interior Affairs and believes that it was a direct result of impunity syndrome existing in relation with infringements of the law by police officers.
According to media reports, on June 10 police officer Tato Vasadze “first twisted Nato Gogelia’s hands and then kicked her with his legs” in Chokhatauri police station.
Georgian legislation considers “illegal hindering of journalists’ professional activities, in other words, forcing them to refrain from spreading information” a criminal act punishable under criminal law. According to Criminal Code, threat of force or abusing one’s position makes that the crime more serious; although volence against journalist Nato Gogelia was not simply an act of hindering journalist’s activities, as existing evidence corroborates that she suffered health injury as well.
GYLA finds the fact that the journalist was beaten by a representative of the agency that is supposed to “protect public safety and order, human rights and freedoms from unlawful infringement” particularly alarming.
GYLA calls upon the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia launch preliminary investigation over the beating of the journalists and acts of violence against her and immediately punish all persons responsible.