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Gori Patrol Policemen Violate Georgian Constitution

22.06.2007
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In Gori, patrol policemen’s “exceeded” effort has bothered people. People, driving cars unknown to patrol policemen, are detained by law enforcers though they do not breach traffic rules.  There are permanent queues in front of the Regional Department of the Patrol Police where people wait to be tested on drug addiction.

Patrol policemen immediately take people to drug test if they notice three or four young men are standing together. In most cases, test does not show any negative results. Relatives of the young people are concerned about the situation; though everybody agrees upon the idea that patrol police should take corresponding measures when they notice a suspicious person.

Davit Tabutsadze, the head of the Shida Kartli Patrol Police Department, said that policemen have right “to detain or take a person to an addiction clinic if s/he looks suspicious.”

Tabutsadze claimed that everybody, who is taken to drug test, looks suspicious. “They are under the influence of Actifed and the test does not detect it.”

Zurab Khizambareli, a resident of Tbilisi, claims the opposite and applied to the Human Rights Center for help.

Khizambareli arrived in Gori to earn his living and works as a distributor for “Kazbegi Company”. Because of patrol police he had to sell his car and now he is going to leave his job because patrol police does not allow him to work in normal conditions.

On May 26 patrol police detained Khizambareli and drug test showed that he was under influence of Subotex. As he was detained on Sunday and the court could not make decision on fining him on that day, he was placed in a pre-trial detention cell. On the next day Gori District Court fined Khizambareli for 500 lari.

Two days later, patrol police detained and tested him again and his case was sent to the court.

“Patrol police has already detained and tested me for ten times. Each time I am detained during my working hours. As soon as they notice my car, policeman takes me to the addiction clinic and I have to spend whole day because of long queues there. The test has never detected any drug influence except first occasion; however the police do not allow me to work in normal conditions.  I could not drive my car in the city and I sold it. Patrol policemen advised me to give away somebody and they would leave me alone. On the second time I was under slight influence of drug because only two days had passed since the first detention. The court has not discussed the case whether I should pay the fine or not. They have sent the analysis to re-examination for five days only.  I have problems because the case is not dropped. I am fed up with the situation and I applied to you for help,” Zurab Khizambareli.

Ketevan Bidzinashvili, the head of the “A Step towards the Future”, a member organization of Georgian network for Reduction the Damage: “We observe plenty of similar incidents in the city. Patrol police must fulfill the plan and does its best to extort as much money as possible from people. Young people are seriously suppressed in the area. Patrol police very often detains a person for standing in the street. They are permanently examining one and the same person. If a person is a drug addict, s/he cannot live without drug for a long time and if somebody tries it only once and the drug test shows the influence, the police do not leave him/her alone. We discussed one fact when a person was detained for Marihuana addiction. The drug remains in the body for a long time-from 21 to 72 days. The person paid fine of 500 lari for the first occasion but five days later police detained him again and fined him with additional 2000 lari. Several days later the police detained the same person and now he is in prison. Unfortunately, it is impossible to detect when a person received drug and patrol police takes advantage of the situation. Almost never are the analysis sent for re-examination because people do not know their rights properly. Gori Patrol Police is super active in violating human rights throughout the country,” said Bidzinashvili.

Bidzinashvili stated that Broladze who works together with Zurab Khizambareli as a distributor is systematically tested at addiction clinic because he is slim and police doubts on his being a drug addict.

Natia Kaliashvili, lawyer for the Human Rights Center: “Nowadays, patrol police has great influence in the region. Their activities are beyond all boundaries. One of the reasons is that people do not know the competence and rights of the patrol police. Although the patrol police’s activities are defined in Georgian Constitution, they violate constitution most of all. The patrol policemen restrict the liberty of the person as well as rights on free transportation and working. These rights are guaranteed by the Chapter II of the constitution. The Law on police, Article IV states that the police shall respect and protect the rights and basic freedoms of a person regardless his/her civil, social or other positions. Activities of the police shall base upon the legality, protection of dignity and conscious of a person.  However, policemen initiate to violate those rights of a person. Similar facts of breaching the human rights never happen in any other regions.”

Thea Tedliashvili, Gori

 

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