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Man dies while being detained in Tbilisi

26 October 2017

The Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation into police officers for negligent manslaughter, after a man died in Tbilisi while being detained.

The Interior Ministry claims the man was drunk and was acting aggressively towards police as they attempted to detain him, when he fell ill and died suddenly. Witnesses claim the man was calling out for help and asking for them to call emergency services, but police continued to handcuff him.

According to the Interior Ministry, police were called to Nutsubidze Plateau in the evening of October 25 after an argument broke out between two neighbours. Police officers had diffused the situation when the man approached them and verbally insulted the neighbours as well as police, the ministry says.

‘Police officers called for orderly and lawful conduct but he did not obey their lawful demand and became more violent. In the process of conducting a lawful detention, the man suddenly felt unwell and died on the spot’, the ministry says.

Ketino Todria who witnessed the detention recalls that when the man collapsed, everybody kept shouting to call the emergency services, but police continued handcuffing him.

‘He did say curse words, but it was not towards police officers particularly… I saw that they wanted to handcuff him, which I don’t know why was needed, he was so drunk he could barely stand on his feet. Men and women, everybody had been shouting to call the emergency services when he collapsed. But officers continued handcuffing him. Basically he died in the hands of police officers’, Todria told Liberali Magazine.

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