Man Dies During Arrest on Nutsubidze

Paata Pavliashvili (32) died on October 25 on Nutsubidze Plateau, Tbilisi, while being arrested by two police officers after he allegedly refused to cooperate and verbally abused them.

Eyewitnesses to the incident claim that Pavliashvili repeated several times that he was unwell, yet the police officers ignored him and pushed him to the ground.

Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs released a statement soon after the incident, which reads that the Patrol Police Officers were approached by a supposedly drunk person who behaved aggressively and verbally insulted the person who had called the police, citizens who were present at the scene, and the patrol officers.

“The patrol-inspectors repeatedly called on the citizen to maintain law and order, but he did not obey the legitimate demand of the police and behaved even more aggressively. During the detention procedures of the mentioned person, which were carried out within full compliance of the law, he suddenly became indisposed and died at the scene,” the Ministry stated.

The Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia (POG) launched an investigation under Article 116 of the Criminal Code of Georgia into the possible fact of negligence on the side of the police officers. The authorities of the police officers have been suspended pending the results of the investigation.

“At this stage of investigation, the patrol police officers, eyewitnesses and members of the family of the deceased have been questioned. Every necessary investigative action and procedure will be carried out effectively and as soon as possible. The public will be informed about the further results of the investigation,” the POG stated.

It also added on October 30 that the main evidence, footage seized from the patrol inspector’s shoulder camera, did not show the incident and detention process of Paata Pavliashvili.

A number of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) believe there are too many questions surrounding the case, adding it is very suspicious that the shoulder camera recording does not feature the detention process.

The NGO Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) says they are protecting the rights of the deceased man’s family.

NGO Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC) suspects the evidence was deliberately destroyed.

“Everything together raises too many questions and exacerbates suspicions about the work of the police. Experts should assess if the recordings were destroyed deliberately,” said Sopo Verdzeuli from the EMC.

Thea Morrison

30 October 2017 18:01