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Man commits suicide after alleged pressure

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, August 15
The family of the 22-year-old man, Demur Sturua, who committed suicide after alleged pressure from a local policeman, requests the law enforcer’s punishment.

Demur Sturua from the village of Dapnari in the Samtredia Region in west Georgia, hanged himself and left a letter which reads that the inspector-investigator of the district, Goderdzi Tevzadze, was physically and psychologically abusing him, asking him to provide information about people who used marijuana in Dapnari and neighboring villages.

In his letter, Sturua wrote that the inspector systematically threatened him with arrest, but he preferred to die rather than become a police informer.

The Samtredia District Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia launched an investigation on the count of inciting Demur Sturua to suicide, under Article 115 of the Criminal Code of Georgia.

“Primary urgent investigative actions have been conducted under the investigation; the scene has been inspected, and a forensic medical examination has been scheduled,” the statement of the Prosecutor’s Office reads.

The policeman mentioned in the letter has been suspended until the investigation is over.

The Public Defender’s Office stated they would observe the developments, and the Ombudsman’s representatives would study the case.

“The Ombudsman calls on the Prosecutor General’s Office to launch an investigation of its own,” stated Deputy Public Defender, Natia Katsitadze.

The third sector believes that the drug policy system needs to be changed, as it grants too much authority to law enforcers.

According to a lawyer of the Non-governmental Organisation (NGO) Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center, Guram Imnadze, the current drug policy gives the right to the law enforcers to use violence against citizens.

Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili also commented on the case. He offered his condolences to the family of the deceased.

“Of course, an investigation will be concluded and the government will not cover any of its own employees if one is found to be at fault,” said Kvirikashvili, and added he personally would watch the developments of the investigation.