Thousands of protesters dispersed after staging a three-hour peaceful demonstration demanding the immediate reopening of Imedi TV and radio stations.
The protest rally, which was organized by the nine-party opposition coalition, first gathered at an area called Rike and then moved to the front of Parliament – both focal points of the November 7 unrest, when over five hundred people were injured after riot police broke up a demonstration with water cannons, rubber bullets and tear gas. The police raided the Imedi TV studios later on the same day.
“This must be a warning to the government. Your presence here confirms that whatever methods are used, the authorities won’t be able to terrorize us,” Koba Davitashvili, leader of Party of People, told the protesters.
“We will continue with protest rallies if Imedi TV and radio stations do not resume broadcasting in the next few days,” MP Zviad Dzidziguri of the Conservative Party said.
Meanwhile, Mikheil Saakashvili, who stepped down as President on November 25, said in an interview with journalist Inga Grigolia that shutting down Imedi TV was justified as the station had been inciting unrests and posed a threat to the country’s statehood.
The hour and a half long interview, conducted by Grigolia, who is a former host of an Imedi TV political talk show, will be aired by Rustavi 2 TV later on November 25.