Tbilisi University students claim dormitory serched by the police
Pressure on students in Georgia
According to the May Student Movement, police entered a dormitory at Tbilisi State University and collected students’ personal data. Giorgi Grigolashvili, head of the TSU student service and career development center, says this was a planned check which police carry out every year.
Reports of government crackdowns on students intensified after thousands of university students marched onto Rustaveli Avenue on March 7-9.
On February 17, the Power of the People movement, an offshoot of the ruling Georgian Dream party, submitted two bills to parliament – On Transparency of Foreign Influence and On Registration of Foreign Agents.
On March 9, the ruling party said it was withdrawing the bill after mass street demonstrations. On March 10, during the second reading in Parliament, a majority voted to reject it.
Student movement statement
“The authorities are using various methods to neutralize youth participating in the March protest”, a statement released by the May Student Movement says.
Its activists demand from Tbilisi State University a clear position on and response to the incident.
“As the students said, those who came introduced themselves as police officers of the Vake district, and then seized the personal data of the students without explaining why. The administration also did not warn the students. The police were not accompanied by representatives of the housing and communal services, nor by the university administration,” the statement goes on.
According to students, the administration of Tbilisi State University does not protect the interests of students and is not interested in the future of the university, but acts only in its own interests.
The May Student Movement is not going to put up with the threat against students and is demanding that the university make a statement. Tell us why the police were allowed to enter the dorm and take students’ personal data. Otherwise publicly condemn the actions of the police and demand a public response. A clear position by professors is also necessary. The police have nothing to do with the university, with student dormitories, but lately the authorities have been trying to guard their power with authoritarian actions.”
- Debate on Georgia in the European Parliament – “The name of one problem on the way to the European Union is Bidzina Ivanishvili”
- Garibashvili’s Western partners respond: “Perhaps Europe is not really for you”
- Posters, slogans and jokes at Georgia protests. Photos
TSU response to students
Giorgi Grigolashvili said in an interview with Formula TV that this was a routine inspection carried out annually.
According to Grigolashvili, policealso visited other dormitories, buildings that do not belong to TSU, and collected information about TSU employees.
Checking the dormitory on March 15-16 was not related to any specific event, Grigolashvili said, adding that data was collected not only about students, but everyone who is in the dormitory.
According to Grigolashvili, the police do not inform the university when they deem it necessary to arrive and carry out “legal actions”:
“In previous years, the administration of the TSU dormitory also had no information about the arrival of law enforcement officers,” Grigolashvili said.