HRC continues to protect the legitimate interests of Beka Grigoriadis, the father of Lazare Grigoriadis, a participant in the March 7-8 rally. HRC is currently pleading the cause for Beka Grigoriadis in connection with several facts of rights violation.
Since May 28, Beka Grigoriadis has been staging a protest rally behind the Parliament, at Oliver and Marjorie Wardrops Square. Initially, the police prevented him from pitching his tent in the square - without any warning or explanation, they would immediately attack and seize the tent as soon as he began to unpack the tent.
Several days of such attacks by the police ended with the detention of Beka Grigoriadis on May 31. He was detained while pitching the tent and taken to the pre-trial detention center. The police charged him with an offense under Article 173 of the Administrative Offenses Code. The court heard the case on June 2. Judge Nino Enukidze held Beka Grigoriadis liable for an offense under the Administrative Offenses Code and fined him GEL 2000.
Nestan Londaridze, lawyer from HRC, presented in court the uninterrupted footage depicting the detention of Beka Grigoriadis. The recordings demonstrate that the protest organizer has violated no law. The judge did not take into account the footage.
The arguments of the Patrol Police Department within the Ministry of Interior, which was actually accepted by the court is disturbing as it claims that pitching the tent is an act of defacing a place within the administrative boundaries of the municipality (Article 150 of AOC) rather than a means for exercising freedom of expression. HRC shall appeal the judgment in the Court of Appeals.
It should be noted that after the court ruled for imposition of the fine, Beka Grigoriadis resumed the protest in the same place - Oliver and Marjorie Wardrops Square and pitched the tent. This time, the police have not interfered as they made no arguments that he was “defacing the place within the administrative boundaries of the municipality”.
On June 6, following the petition by the Public Defender of Georgia and with participation of the HRC lawyer, Beka Grigoriadis was interviewed by the Special Investigation Service regarding the alleged violations committed by the police during his detention behind the Parliament on June 1. The Investigation Service was provided with the footage of the detention clearly showing the alleged use of excessive force by the police.
On June 7, patrol police officers served Beka Grigoriadis with a report of an administrative offense, based on which they approached the Tbilisi City Court this time because of a social media post published by Grigoriadis on June 3. The hearings have not been scheduled yet.