At least a dozen out of about 10’000 citizens, peacefully protesting adoption of the so-called agent bill outside the parliament of Georgia, were brutally pepper sprayed, poisoned with gas, shot rubber bullets at and waterboarded, despite no evident legitimate purpose, nor proportionality. As citizens were chanting “Russians”, “traitors”, addressing members of parliament who voted for the adoption of the bill, mimicking Putin’s 2012 bill, and later chanting “Georgia”, in a non-violent and orderly manner, they were directly pepper sprayed and waterboarded close-up. There has been no violence from the side of the peaceful protesters, nor any indicators for escalation into such violence; on multiple occasions, vulnerable individuals, such as an elderly lady, woman waving EU flag, and a young girl standing alone in front of the police were pepper sprayed directly in the face, with direct video and photo materials available demonstrating excessive use of force by the police. On multiple occasions, peaceful manifesters were directly provoked by the police, such as a man standing peacefully, was approached by policeman from behind and dragged on the ground without any legitimate purpose. Furthermore, according to the journalist of Mtavari tv Ani Tsitladze, the representatives of the state security service were throwing bricks at the police to provoke violence and blame peaceful protesters. Later on towards 00:40, even as the protesters dispersed, police was filmed by Mtavari tv mixing tearing gas with water before waterboarding peaceful citizens.
Due to the fact that there has been no legitimate purpose, nor proportionality observed, as police used excessive force, we believe the incidents that occurred in front of the parliament constitute violation of the freedom of manifestation.