NGOs appeal to the Georgian government on recent events at Tbilisi State University - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო
GEO

NGOs appeal to the Georgian government on recent events at Tbilisi State University

27 April, 2016

 

Signatories to this statement would like to respond to recent developments at Tbilisi State University (TSU) and call on the Ministry of Internal Affairs to ensure the safety and freedom of assembly of students in and outside the main university building.

The situation grew especially tense over the past two days after the protests of a student organization Auditorium 115 were confronted by a counter-demonstration organized by the student self-government and its supporters.

The police seem to prohibit the supporters of Auditorium 115 from entering the main university building, while allowing access to some student self-government affiliated groups, including masked aggressive individuals. According to university professors and members of Auditorium 115, in some cases, the police had not prevented the counter-demonstration participants from entering the building. Reports also suggest that the student self-government and its supporters caused numerous violent incidents, including attacks on journalists and preventing their work.

The police do not seem to have a common strategy and plan on how to ensure safety and order inside the university building, which could result in a physical confrontation and violence between the participants of two protest rallies. The risk mainly originates from the counter-protest participants, who on several occasions have stepped outside the bounds of peaceful assembly and engaged in physical violence.

The TSU Security Service and the police have not been able to come up with common rules of entering the university building for protest rally participants. They have also inconsistently granted observer organizations access to the university grounds. This lack of common rules for safety and movement may lead to further escalation.

Signatory organizations call on:

  • The Ministry of Internal Affairs and TSU Security Service to promptly ensure the safety and freedom of assembly for peaceful protesters in and outside the university building.
  • The Georgian Government to launch an investigation on the illegal presence of Security Liaison Officers inside the university.
  • The Georgian Government to express clear political will that it takes the legitimate demands of students into account, and will launch a fundamental reform of the education system that will be based on academic freedom.

Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC)

Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF)

Georgian Young Lawyers' Association

Public Movement Multinational Georgia (PMMG)

International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)

Civil Development Agency (CiDA)

Transparency International Georgia

Union Sapari

Women's Movement

Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI)

Green Alternative

Caucasian House

Community Development Centre

Eastern Partnership Arts and Culture Council

Taso Foundation

Article 42 of the Constitution

Tolerance and Diversity Institute

Civil Society and Democracy Development Center (CSDDC)

Center for Training and Consultancy

Georgian Trade Unions Confederation

Youth Alternative

Identoba

Civic Initiative

Community Union Nukriani

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