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Interior Minister says some try to discredit police

By Messenger Staff
Monday, April 25
Caption: Georgia’s Interior Minister Giorgi Mgebrishvili By Messenger Staff Interior Minister of Georgia Giorgi Mgebrishvili says police are being intentionally discredited in the country.

"I, as the Minister of Internal Affairs, declare that the country’s police are being intentionally discredited. I will not allow any attempt to degrade our police officers. I will not let it happen to my colleagues, people who risk their own health and lives every day and conscientiously fulfil their mission in order to protect the security of us all. They are ready to become victims of systematic attack and moral harassment,” the official statement read.

The Minister said the police announced an “uncompromising fight” against crime and in this battle police officers were ready to sacrifice their lives for citizens' safety.

“Unlike during the past, the Ministry of Internal Affairs does not fight crime at the expense of human rights,” Mgebrishvili said.

The Minister said he declared with full responsibility that the Interior Ministry has never been so oriented towards standards. He said after the new government came to power, the values of the country have been fundamentally changed.

“The police have been depoliticized and fully subjected to internationally-recognized standards, which was proved by a number of international organizations as well.”

“It is part of Western values and civic responsibility to respect and support the police of your country,” Mgebrishvili said.

However, he said that recently, attacks on the police have become more frequent. Mgebrishvili said one of the clearest examples was a recent media report. The minister said that through the released video footage, a journalist of one of Georgia's TV channels was trying to convince their audience that the police used violence against a citizen.

“It is noteworthy that the video does not reflect the current period. It was recorded before the re-branding of patrol police. The video clearly shows that the officers wear old uniforms”, says the Minister.

According to him, each alleged case of police misconduct is under his personal attention and control.

The impartiality and fairness of the police are crucial for a democratic state. It should be noted that the previous government should be credited for reforming the police. However, the former authorities gradually started changing the country into a police regime.

People should be able to trust the police and the current Government of Georgia must do its utmost in this regard.

There is some speculation amongst the public that the crime rate has increased in the country or that the police are not as tough on crime as they once were.

Such speculation must not exist; the police must be fair and intolerant to crime and violations of the law.

If the media releases unchecked information or deliberately tries to discredit such an important institute as the police, such an outlet must also be held accountable for its actions.