18 December 2020, 21:09
Georgian activists concerned over tougher punishments for oppositionists
In Georgia, six opposition supporters detained at a protest face heavy fines, advocate Tengiz Kakhidze reports. Courts more often fine people for participating in political actions, activists note.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that after the parliamentary elections, the opposition demanded to cancel the voting results. On December 13, six persons were detained in Batumi, and the court arrested them for seven days. On December 15, the number of detainees increased to nine persons, including Khatuna Beridze, a founder of the movement "Alternative".
On November 19, Khatuna Beridze was arrested after a fight with MP Giorgi Manvelidze, the newspaper "Batumelebi" reports.
"There are double standards. A year ago, the deputy mayor of Shuakhevi grabbed me at a protest action, and the police instituted a case against her. However, she was never interrogated and continues to hold her post," Khatuna Beridze claimed.
Six more detainees are accused of resisting the police and face fines amounting from 1000 to 4000 laris (from 300 to 1200 US dollars), advocate Tengiz Kakhidze reports.
According to the advocate, on November 23, Khatuna Beridze was detained together with five members of the NGO "Alternative" and opposition activists for refusing to obey the police requests to stop shouting insults at the Batumi election commission.
Imposing a fine for shouting insults creates a dangerous precedent for punishing the exercise of the right to freedom of speech, the Georgian Young Lawyers' Association (GYLA) states.
Author: Beslan Kmuzov; Source: CK correspondent