Civil Society Protest Against Attack on Liberty Institute

(Tbilisi, Civil Georgia, July 11, 2002) – Today representatives of the Georgian civil society, journalists and MPs hold a meeting and disseminated declaration condemning violent attack on human rights and advocacy NGO Liberty Institute on July 10.

Up to ten men broke into the offices of the Liberty Institute and have severely beaten six NGO members, including Levan Ramishvili and David Zurabishvili, leading activists of the Liberty Institute.

David Zurabishvili told the Civil Georgia on July 11, that the attack on Liberty Institute “is the logical result of the criminalization process that occurs with the hidden support of the government”.

“This meeting and the adoption of the declaration aims at pushing government to be more active in eradicating violence and pressure against the civil Society,” Zurabishvili added.

Liberty Institute is known for its activism in defending human rights of the minorities, which frequently stirred angry reaction of the religious fundamentalists and political extremists. During ongoing week supporters of the maverick ultra-nationalist MP Guram Sharadze launched the protests against the Liberty Institute.