One of two Georgian opposition figures in EU-backed agreement pardoned
Georgian president pardons opposition figure Rurua
His release was an important part of an agreement to resolve the political crisis reached by the Georgian authorities and opposition through the mediation of Western diplomats.
“I welcome the implementation of the first stage of the agreement! For my part, I kept my word and signed the pardon act!” said President Salome Zurabishvili on April 27.
Salome Zurabishvili announced that she would issue an act of pardon if an agreement was reached between the government and the opposition, and if the latter entered parliament.
Today, MPs from the opposition parties that signed the Michel agreement entered parliament. The parliament is currently working on an amnesty bill for the participants in the June 20, 2019 event, after which the chairman of the opposition United National Movement party, Nika Melia, must also leave prison.
The Giorgi Rurua case
Giorgi Rurua is one of the founders of the opposition-minded TV channel Mtavari. He also financed the youth movement ‘Sirtskhviliia’ [Geo. Shame].
He was detained on November 18, 2019, a few hours before the dispersal of the opposition rally, on charges of illegal acquisition and possession of firearms.
Rurua himself does not plead guilty and considers his case to be politicized.
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Later, another article was added to his case – non-execution of the court decision and obstruction of its execution, since Rurua refused to give DNA and fingerprint samples.
On July 30, 2020, Rurua was convicted and sentenced to four years in prison.
Transparency International Georgia, which has studied the materials of the case of Giorgi Rurua, writes that his rights and freedoms, guaranteed by the Constitution of Georgia and international acts, were illegally restricted.
The release of Rurua was also a condition of an agreement between the authorities and the opposition in March 2020, but the authorities did not fulfill this condition at that time.