The European Court of Human Rights accepted the applications prepared by Human Rights Center. It is symbolic that the applications prepared on behalf of the participants of June 20-21, 2019 protest demonstration were registered in the Strasbourg Court a year later, in June, 2020.
HRC defends legal interests of the journalists – Merab Tsaava, Beslan Kmuzoff and Zaza Svanadze, who were injured during the dispersal of June 20-21, 2019 protest demonstrations.
The organization applied all national legal mechanisms to request the Prosecutor General’s Office to grant victim status to the journalists and to conduct timely, effective and unbiased investigation of their cases. After the HRC’s lawful claims were rejected, the organization appealed the Strasbourg Court to determine the violation of the Article 10 (Freedom of Expression), Article 11 (Freedom of Assembly and Association) and Article 13 (Right to an Effective Remedy) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The beneficiaries of Human Rights Center received significant injuries as a result of the disproportionate force used by the law enforcement officers against the protesters on June 20, 2019 in front of the Parliament of Georgia. The police used rubber bullets against international standards, when there was no necessity to use them; furthermore, they used the rubber bullets against those demonstrators, who did not create any real and immediate threat in concrete/individual cases of violence. Excessive use of force by the police officers resulted into grave and in some cases irreparable injury of many demonstrators and journalists.
Beslan Kmuzoff is a reporter of the Caucasian Knot in Georgia. He was covering the ongoing protest demonstration in the Rustaveli Avenue, when he received injuries from the bullets shot by riot police officers. More precisely, 6 bullets were shot in Beslan Kmuzoff, one of them in the head and he needed surgical operation in hospital.
Merab Tsaava is a journalist of the news agency Guria News, who performed his professional duties on June 20-21, 2019 during the protest demonstration in the Rustaveli Avenue, Tbilisi. Although Merab Tsaava was wearing the journalist’s badge, rubber bullet was shot in his hand, when he was holding camera and video-recording the ongoing developments. In fact, his hand saved Tsaava from injuring the eye.
Zaza Svanadze is a journalist, blogger and a civil activist. He was in front of the Parliament of Georgia on June 20, 2019 to express his peaceful protest against the ongoing developments in Georgia. At the same time, he performed his professional duties and was video-recording the events for the news agency GeoMediaTV.
Human Rights Center