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U.S. Ambassador Concerned About the Crackdown on Veterans at Heroes’ Square

10.01.2011

U.S. Ambassador to Georgia John Bass expressed concerns about the crackdown on the veterans at heroes’ square on 3 January.

Bass commented about it after giving presents at the infants’ house in Tbilisi.

‘I want to respond to the events that took place on heroes’ square that I’ve been observing for 2-3 days. I’m concerned that police used force against the protesters. Force must not be used against protesters. This must not be taking place in a democratic country. I’m glad Georgia’s public Defender released a statement and adequately assessed the goings on. I hope it will be investigated and the present video material will be given  special attention,’ John Bass said.

On the question of InterPressNews about the court imposing a 400 GEL fine on the veterans, Bass stated that he would not asses the court’s decision.

‘I’m not going to discuss the court decision, as the issue is regulated by Georgian law. We’ll be able to listen to more qualified answer from the ombudsman. What about the fact what, it must be declared and specified where protest can be expressed. For instance, in the U.S. there is freedom of assembly, association and expression, though it doesn’t mean that you can come together at any place and protest. Expressing protest near monuments, war memorials is limited. I think the public must be informed about where and how they can assemble and express protest. It must be specified if it’s allowed to protest at heroes square,’ John Bass said.

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