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Police Detains 69 people in the Whole-Country Raids

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, December 25
(GEORGIA) - Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs has detained 69 people in the two-day raids in capital Tbilisi and regions on December 22-23, which aimed to check suspicious people and prevent crimes.

The raids came shortly after the approval of a new Minister of Internal Affairs Giorgi Gakharia in parliament last week, within the renewed cabinet voting.

The Interior Ministry press office announced that out of the 69 people 32 were detained for alleged criminal offences, while the remaining 37 faced administrative charges.

“Police checked 36, 330 people in total during the raids thorough the country,” the ministry reported.

Police seized 50 firearms, 33 hand grenades, 12 capsule detonators and 2,278 cartridges during the raids.

The Georgian Dream majority says the raids were “timely” to prevent crimes and the ruling party members excluded any types of violations from police in the course of the operations.

Sopo Kiladze, who chairs Human Rights Committee in parliament, stated the law adopted in 2013 set clear boundaries for the police control, as a preventive measure.

The opposition is less optimistic such raids can decrease “sharply increased crime rates”. However, they positively assessed Gakharia’s report in parliament and his plans to carry systemic reforms.

Georgia’s Public Defender Nino Lomjaria responded to the raids in a special statement, saying conducting such operations were within the law. However, she said the raids only envisaged superficial checks and public needed to know about their rights if police addressed them.

Lomjaria appealed to people to ask about the police officers identification documents and explanations what the ground of the checking was. People also have a right to demand the switching on the arm camera by policemen and read the protocol written by the officers after the check.