Georgia: Rights lawyer Eduard Marikashvili arbitrarily detained, facing hooliganism and disobedience charges

On 6 June 2023, the Tbilisi City Court started to review the case of the human rights defender and lawyer Eduard Marikashvili. The human rights defender is accused of hooliganism and disobedience of a legal order from the police. Eduard Marikashvili is on trial for participating in a peaceful public protest on 2 June 2023, where he was arbirtrarily arrested and detained for 48 hours. The human rights defender intends to file a complaint concerning the violation of his right to freedom of assembly, his unlawful detention and the extension of this detention.




Eduard Marikashvili is a Georgian human rights defender and lawyer. In his human rights litigation, he focuses on juvenile justice, criminal law and accountability. He has been Chairperson of the human rights organisation “Georgian Democracy Initiative” (GDI) since 2021. GDI is committed to defending human rights, expanding inclusivity in society and promoting tolerance, as well as strengthening democratic reforms, advancing the rule of law and enhancing transparency and accountability of public institutions. GDI carried out monitoring, open debate, fact-based research and analysis of policy options to address the challenges facing Georgia. Eduard Marikashvili has been working as a human rights lawyer since 2014, and has headed the Legal Aid Centre within the GDI since 2017. He has also been a lecturer in the Free University of Tbilisi since 2019.

On 2 June 2023, at 10:30 pm, human rights defender and lawyer Eduard Marikashvili arrived to a peaceful protest in front of the Georgian Parliament in Tbilisi. The protesters had gathered to express their discontent with the Georgian government’s foreign policy and Georgia’s growing alliance with the Russian authorities. The human rights defender joined the protest to monitor the violation of the peaceful protestors’ rights, as law enforcement officers started to violently arrest and detain them while confiscating and destroying their signs. Eduard Marikashvili joined the protest and held a blank piece of paper in his hands.



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Georgia: Rights lawyer Eduard Marikashvili arbitrarily detained, facing hooliganism and disobedience charges