U.S. Embassy Statement on Attacks in Rustavi and Dmanisi

The United States condemns the violent, seemingly politically motivated attacks which took place yesterday in Dmanisi and Rustavi. This, along with numerous reports of pressure and intimidation against opposition candidates and their supporters throughout the country, raises serious doubts about the government’s commitment to a safe, fair pre-election environment and a democratic election process.

Violence is unacceptable in an election campaign. The government bears primary responsibility for creating an environment that protects individuals’ rights and ensures a free, fair, competitive election that voters can have confidence in.

The Government of Georgia should redouble its efforts to ensure that candidates and their supporters can exercise their democratic rights of free speech and assembly, without threats of intimidation, harassment, or violence, and take proactive steps to hold accountable those who commit election violations.

All parties have a civic duty to promote a peaceful atmosphere in which citizens can discuss the issues, express their preferences, and choose their candidates free from the threat of violence and intimidation.