( Civil ) - Georgians have the right to protest peacefully without being beaten by the police, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on November 8.
"Even in a time of crisis, Georgians have a right to protest peacefully without being beaten by the police," Holly Cartner, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "Firing rubber bullets at peaceful demonstrators is a complete abuse of the use of force. The government does not have a carte blanche to restrict fundamental freedoms just because it is in crisis."
The Human Rights Watch reported that its representative witnessed how riot police chased and beat fleeing protestors as they ran into the yard of a nearby church and into nearby streets. The protestors offered no resistance and called on each other not to resist in order not to provoke harsher retaliation from the police.
"Beating journalists or shutting down television stations for reporting on the events can't be justified by subsequently declaring a state of emergency," Cartner said, while commenting on the recent developments in Georgia, in which a state of emergency has been declared on November 7 following clashes between demonstrators and police and the closure of two TV stations.