Skip to main content

Statements and speeches Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Türk concerned by reports of disproportionate use of force against Georgia protesters

02 May 2024

Police intervenes with tear gas as protestors block of the entrance of the parliament building within a protest against the bill on 'Transparency of Foreign Influence,' in Tbilisi, Georgia on May 01, 2024.  Credit: Anadolu via Reuters Connect



I am concerned by reports of unnecessary and disproportionate use of force by law enforcement personnel against demonstrators and media workers in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi this week.

Thousands of Georgians have been protesting for days against the draft Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence, and authorities must fully respect and protect their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. Any restrictions to these rights must abide by principles of legality, necessity and proportionality. The use of force during protests should always be exceptional and a measure of last resort when facing an imminent threat.

I call on the authorities to conduct prompt and transparent investigations into all allegations of ill-treatment during or after protests or in detention. All those who were detained arbitrarily for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly must be released immediately. Charges against them must also be dropped.

I also call on demonstrators and protest organisers to exercise their rights peacefully and not to resort to violence.

I urge Georgian authorities to withdraw this draft law, and to engage in dialogue, including with civil society and media organisations. Labelling NGOs and media outlets receiving foreign funding as “organisations acting in the interest of a foreign power” poses serious threats to the rights to freedom of expression and association.

For more information and media requests, please contact:

In Geneva
Ravina Shamdasani - + 41 22 917 9169 / [email protected] 
Jeremy Laurence - +41 22 917 9383 / [email protected] 
Marta Hurtado - + 41 22 917 9466 / [email protected]

Tag and share

Twitter @UNHumanRights
Facebook unitednationshumanrights
Instagram @unitednationshumanrights