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Georgia: Tbilisi Faces Calls for Investigation into May 26 Protest Response

The Georgian government is facing pressure to open an investigation into the conduct of riot police during a May 26 protest in Tbilisi that left four people dead.

In a June 1 statement, the international watchdog group Amnesty International called on President Mikheil Saakashvili’s administration to investigate allegations about the use of excessive force by security forces as they cleared anti-government protesters from in front of Georgia’s parliament building. US Ambassador Robert Bass, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the European Commission and Human Rights Watch have issued similar appeals.

Ministry of Internal Affairs spokesperson Shota Utiashvili denied claims of police violence, but said that the ministry would “look into the cases and see if excess force was used.”

“The [video] footage will be reviewed to see if there is a necessity, or even grounds to start a formal investigation,” Utiashvili said. He added that “overall” the security sweep was conducted professionally.

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Molly Corso is a freelance journalist based in Tbilisi.

Georgia: Tbilisi Faces Calls for Investigation into May 26 Protest Response

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