Human Rights Center Will Appeal the Guilty Verdict against the Activists in the Tbilisi Appellate Court  

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Human Rights Center (HRC) will appeal the Tbilisi Appellate Court to annul the judgment of the Administrative Law Collegium of the Tbilisi City Court, which found the protest rally participant civil activists Lasha Janjgava and Levan Nishnianidze guilty and fined them with 2 000 GEL. 

Levan Nishnianidze and Lasha Janjgava were arrested under the administrative law on June 2, 2023 during the demonstration in front of the parliament. Levan Nishnianidze and Lasha Janjgava participated in the demonstration and expressed their protest against the anti-western statements of the government members with banners. During the detention, police officers did not clarify their rights or reasons of their arrest. Furthermore, before being detained, police did not make any preliminary warning. 

Police officers took the detainees to the temporary detention setting in Dusheti municipality. Police extended their detention term after 24 hours without any clarifications and afterwards, without submitting the case files to the court, 35 hours later, they released the detainees from the temporary detention setting. 

The Ministry of Internal Affairs accused Lasha Janjgava and Levan Nishniadze of the violation of the Articles 166 and 173 of the Administrative Offences Code, which refer to minor hooliganism and disobedience to the lawful order of law enforcement officers.

The Tbilisi City Court examined the administrative case against Lasha Janjgava and Levan Nishnianidze. The MIA did not present any video-proof and their representative tried to verify their allegation only based on the testimonies of the witness police officers. 

The testimonies of the police officers made in the court were not consecutive, contradicted each other and video-proof submitted by the MIA, which demonstrated the non-stop detention process.  

In accordance with the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and the April 28, 2017 judgment of the Tbilisi Appellate Court (Case N4a-253-17), which annulled the decision of the city court as it was based only on the police officer’s testimony, only the testimony made by an officer is not valid evidence to prove the guiltiness of a defendant unless it is well-grounded with other evidence too. 

The Public Defender submitted Amicus Curiae to the court about the administrative detention case against Lasha Janjgava and Levan Nishnianidze. 

The Tbilisi City Court did not share the trustworthy and valid evidence presented by the defense side, passed the verdict based on the fake testimonies of the police officers, and found Lasha Janjgava and Levan Nishnianidze guilty for the violation of the Articles 166 and 173 of the Administrative Offences Code of Georgia. 

Human Rights Center