23 May 2024,   14:13
Vakhtang Gomelauri was at the Parliament within the frames of the interpellation - Minister started his speech by reviewing the recent rallies

The Parliament heard the Interior Minister, Vakhtang Gomelauri reporting within the Interpellation. The questions submitted by the opposition MPs concerned the preventive measures of the Ministry against domestic violence and violence against women, as well as countering the drug crime.

The Minister of Internal Affairs started his speech at the parliamentary body by reviewing the recently developed events on Rustaveli Avenue.

As Vakhtang Gomelauri noted, as a result of violent actions on Rustaveli Avenue, 5 policemen were injured, two of them were transferred to a medical facility with severe injuries. The law enforcers arrested 40 people in total under the Code of Administrative Offences.

“In recent week, we all witnessed, law enforcement officers who were continuously mobilized at manifestations conducted at various times and locations and protected the safety of each person. On 15 and 16 of April, in parallel with the ongoing manifestation, the work process was in progress in the legislative body. It was equally important for us, for the Ministry of Internal Affairs, to protect the safety of the members of parliament and staff, as well as the safety of each rally participant. The public also witnessed how a peaceful protest turned into violent action from day one. While the manifestation was taking place in a completely peaceful environment, certain group of participants became aggressive towards the law enforcement officers, they threw various objects in the direction of the police officers, including stones, bottles, splashed paint, verbally and physically abused them and ignored the legal requests of police.

On April 16, late at night when the rally was almost over, the participants verbally insulted police officers. They swore, used abusive language against them and their families, children, and won’t even go into details. The confrontation that took place later between the citizens and the policemen was not pleasing to watch for anyone, not even for me, I assure you”, – said the Minister.

He added that the policemen tolerated too many insults. According to him, all police officers have an obligation to be patient and each of them understands this very well, however, this does not mean that anyone has the right to verbally or physically abuse them. As Gomelauri noted, everyone who insults the dignity of policemen and abuses them will be severely punished.

Speaking on the issue of violence against women and/or domestic violence, the Minister noted that owning to the increased trust factor towards police, the number of recorded cases of violence has increased.

According to him, the law “On prevention of violence against women and/or domestic violence, protection and assistance to victims of violence” regulates procedures for detection, prevention, protection and rehabilitation of victims of violence against women and/or domestic violence. In 2021, the law was amended and the list of agencies implementing preventive measures was defined, in which the Ministry has the biggest role.

Gomelauri stated that, in order to strengthen the service, it is planned to reform the witness and victim coordinator service, within the framework of which the service will become the part of the Department of Human Rights Protection and Investigation Quality Monitoring. As noted by Minister, the MIA, the Court and the Prosecutor’s Office have the strictest criminal policy against the mentioned category of crimes, which is confirmed by statistical indicators. It should be noted that in recent years, in the statistics of registered crimes, the rate of initiation of investigation in the direction of domestic violence holds the second place.

According to him, the MIA plans and engages in various information campaigns and activities in cooperation with partner agencies and organizations in order to prevent domestic violence and violence against women.

The Minister also focused on to the measures taken by the MIA against drug–related crime. According to him, the Agency continues the intensive fight against drug-related crime on a daily basis. It is recognized by the government as one of the important and noteworthy areas of organized crime. As Vakhtang Gomelauri noted, process of joint development of the updated 2025-2028 strategy and the action plan has already begun, in which, in parallel with the increase effectiveness fight against drug crimes, more attention will be paid to its prevention component. Active work will continue in schools and other educational institutions to raise the awareness of young people on harmful effects of drugs to reduce the likelihood of their involvement in drug crimes to minimum.