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NGOs demand urgent investigation into assault of MP

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, April 2
Non-governmental organizations including the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA), Transparency International Georgia (TI), Institute for Free Elections and Democracy (ISFED) and several others called on the authorities to undergo a fast, effective and unbiased investigation into the assault of opposition MP Nugzar Tsiklauri.

The NGOs have released a special statement, expressing their deep concern regarding the violence attack on the MP.

They stress that the incident must be investigated by the Chief Prosecutor`s Office of Georgia.

“The Chief-Prosecutor’s Office has a constitutional obligation of providing a free investigation on personal protection of the members of the parliament and their authority,” the statement reads.

The NGOs emphasize that an unbiased and fast investigation will scatter all kinds of suspicions about the possible motives of the crime.

Tsiklauri, a member of the United National Movement, was physically abused on March 31. According to him, he was attacked by 7-8 masked individuals. Tsiklauri was taken to Ghudushauri hospital the same evening with various injures on his body. The UNM has held a special briefing dedicating the occasion, accusing the current government in the crime.

Parliament Chair of Georgia, Davit Uspashvili and members of the coalition have also expressed deep concern over the issue. Usupashvili stressed that it is in the coalition’s interest for the crime to be investigated in a timely fashion.

“The Prime Minister is personally interested and involved in the process,” Usupashvili stated.

Philip Dimitrov, the EU Ambassador to Georgia, states that at first the issue should be investigated and specified who stands behind the crime. He stresses that such facts are not favorable for the state’s democratic development.

UNM members claim that the incident was politically motivated, and that it was done on the orders of the current government. UNM MP Davit Darchiashvili stated that the public would be soon “awaken” and ask coalition members tough questions.

Former Advisor of the Minister of Probation, Lali Moroshkina, told the newspaper Alia that, presumably, the attack was planned at the UNM office. According to her, it is in the interest of the UNM to display itself as a victim in the eyes of the international community. She admits that even the fact that eight men could not kidnap Tsiklauri indicates that something is wrong.

Political analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze told The Messenger that, unfortunately, opposition members make the same assessments concerning all events.

“Such reactions make the UNM less interesting and the Georgian political situation as well,” the analyst said, adding that it is hard to offer a clear answer who stands behind the attack until the investigation is over.