GEO

Signs of Political Persecution in Irakli Okruashvili’s Detainment

26 July, 2019

 

On July 25, the police detained Irakli Okruashvili, one of the leaders of the Victorious Georgia political party, on charges of the organization, management or participation in group violence[1] for his alleged role in the June 20-21 events. The Ministry of Internal Affairs published a video evidence depicting Okruashvili’s actions during the event.

We are of the opinion that the presented video evidence does not provide clear proof of criminal wrongdoing on Okruashvili’s part. We believe that the statements and actions carried out by Okruashvili were not sufficient to detain him.

It has to be noted that Irakli Okruashvili is a leader of an oppositional party and is critical towards the government. Moreover, he has recently made a claim for the ownership of Rustavi 2 TV, spoke openly about his agreement with Kibar Khalvashi and launched a legal case to regain the shares in the company.

Due to high public interest, we call on the Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia and the Prosecutor’s Office to make public the evidence that would prove the charges levelled against Okruashvili. Otherwise, there will be reasonable grounds to believe that Okruashvili’s detainment and the charges levelled against him were politically motivated.

 


[1] Article 225 (1)(2) of the Criminal Code of Georgia