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NGO Says Georgia’s Police Cover Up Violence Against Women

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, December 28
(TBILISI)—Non-Governmental Organization Sapari, which actively works on protecting women’s rights, claims that investigations into the cases of violence against women, committed by law enforcers, continuously stall because the law enforcement bodies provide cover for their employees.

The NGO says Tbilisi City Court issued a protective order against the employee of State Security Service of Georgia (SSG), in order to protect a woman from the abusive man.

“The Court considered the facts of violence, inquired the victim and her underage son and prohibited the abuser to approach or contact the victim for 6 month,” the NGO said.

Sapari lawyer, Eliso Rukhadze, who protects the interests of the domestic violence victim, says despite several appeals to the police, the investigation into the case has not been launched yet.

“The victim has only the status of a witness and no protective mechanism has been applied to her. She also asked for the restraining order several times, but the police did not issue it,” she stressed.

Rukhadze added that despite the issued protective order, the abuser violated its terms on December 26. The lawyer added they reported to the police but they have not taken any action yet.

“We have a reasonable suspicion that the Ministry of Internal Affairs covers the abuser, as he is the SSG employee,” she added.

Regarding this case, Sapari and other NGOs held a briefing on December 15. According to their statement, the employee of the SSG used to beat his wife in the presence of their minor child, threatened to kill and blackmailed the woman.

At the briefing Sapari also pointed out another case, claiming Samtskhe-Javakheti Police Department official, Vasil Ghonghadze provides cover for his brother-in-law, Vakhtang Tediashvili, who used to systematically abuse his wife during 5 years, and after divorce he did not stop violence against her, despite the victim’s appeals to the police.

Tediashvili was arrested only after he beat his wife in front of cameras at school.

However, as the victim Nino Tasoshvili says, the violence towards her has not stopped since then and the relatives of her ex-husband accuse her in mistreating her 7- year-old child. The police have already launched the investigation into the case.

The victim says all she asks for is safety and protection, but fears the case will be reversed against her.

The NGOs slam the Ministry of Interior Affairs (MIA), saying the law enforcers, who are obliged to protect the rights of the society, in some cases are violators themselves, and the ministry does not have an effective mechanism against them.

The organizations, as well as the Public Defender of Georgia, have many times called on the government to establish a body, which would investigate cases committed specifically by law enforcers.

MIA also commented on the cases, saying fight against domestic violence and women is the top priority of the ministry, adding immediate response is usually made into all incidents.

“The Ministry of Internal Affairs will examine each of these facts in detail and take measures envisaged by the law,” the MIA stated.