Following the February 23 detention of Georgian opposition leader Nika Melia by authorities, Helsinki Commission leaders Rep. Alcee Hastings, Sen. Roger Wicker, Rep. Joe Wilson, and Sen. Ben Cardin urged the Georgian government to “release Nika Melia, deescalate the crisis, and recommit to dialogue rather than aggression.”
“As a participating State of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Georgia has committed to respecting democratic institutions, human rights, and the rule of law. Storming the headquarters of an opposing political party and arbitrarily detaining its leader is not in keeping with democratic progress. We urge the Government of Georgia to release Nika Melia, deescalate the crisis, and recommit to dialogue rather than aggression,” the joint statement reads.
The riot police detained the opposition United National Movement (UNM) party leader Nika Melia at the party’s headquarters on Tuesday morning.