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Patriarchate to appeal court decision to remove children from Ninotsminda boarding school

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Monday, June 7
The Georgian Patriarchate will appeal the court decision regarding the process of removing the beneficiaries from the Ninotsminda boarding school. According to the statement of the Patriarchate of Georgia, the court did not have enough evidence to make the decision.

“We would like to mention that no one has addressed us about the Public Defender's problem getting into the Ninotsminda boarding schools. The information about it became known through the mass media. Because of this, we got involved later. As of now, the situation has changed. Social workers are there, and the beneficiaries are being monitored around the clock,” reads the statement of Patriarchate.

They also noted that the accelerated process of withdrawing beneficiaries from the boarding school is not “in the best interest of the children”.

Tbilisi City Court has decided to remove children with disabilities from the Ninotsminda boarding school on June 5.

As Ana Arganashvili explained, according to the law, their organization is a special plaintiff for children with disabilities and that is why the decision was made regarding them. However, according to her, the main idea of the decision is that there is a danger for all children’s lives.

According to PHR, Judge Ivane Glonti agreed with the existence of a risk to life and health in the boarding school, which is why his decision should be extended to each child living in the boarding house.

According to the lawyers, the appeal will not hinder the execution of the court’s decision.

Former beneficiaries of the Ninotsminda boarding school are publicly talking about the facts of physical and psychological violence. In recent years, 4 investigations have been launched into allegations of violence, including sexual assault at the boarding school.

The Metropolitan of Poti and Khobi expressed his hopes that the court’s decision will be executed without any objections. He said that the fact that people were not allowed in the boarding school ended up creating a lot of questions.

Priest Zaza Tevzadze also said that it is extremely important to enforce the court’s decision regarding the immediate removal of children from the boarding school. He added that there are a lot of questions that must be answered. He also assessed the position of the Georgian church ignoring the government agencies of the country, stating that the church has a rude and brutal approach to the issue, which hurts both itself and the state. Tevzadze also noted that he criticizes the institution he represents but can’t stay silent.

The situation escalated on April 15, when the representatives of the Public Defender of Georgia were denied entry into the boarding school after several beneficiaries spoke about the physical, psychological as well as sexual violence taking place in the Ninotsminda boarding school.