Ambassador Kelly’s Comments on recent violence during by-elections in the Zugdidi area and the fatal shooting of an unarmed Georgian citizen at the Kh

On May 23 Ambassador Kelly participated in a presentation of the Georgian Technological Institute, supported by the Georgian government and funded by the Cartu foundation.  While at the event, Ambassador Kelly made some remarks to the media.

In response to a question about the May 22 violence during the by-elections in the Zugdidi area:

Ambassador Ian Kelly:  It was very disturbing. I saw the video.  Political violence has absolutely no place in a democratic society, and I am encouraged to hear that the government is going to have a thorough investigation into this.  This kind of violence really needs to stop.  As I say, it has no place in a democratic society, particularly in an election year.

In response to a question about the May 19 shooting of an unarmed Georgian citizen at the Khurcha-Nabakevi checkpoint:

Ambassador Ian Kelly:  That was absolutely appalling.  It was a cold-blooded murder.  We, of course, would like to see a thorough investigation into the events, and of course, we would like to see the persons who are responsible for it to be held accountable.  And, I think, it just highlights the need for a dialogue, too, across the administration boundary line.  We’ve  been calling for the resumption of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms, the IPRM , which have been halted for four years.  They need to start again immediately.  And, as I say, there needs to be a complete investigation and the person responsible needs to be held accountable.