About Civil.ge
Eng | Geo | Rus
Last updated: 18:14 - 21 Feb.'18
RSS
Mobile
Twitter
Facebook
Opposition Says Protest Venue ‘Raided’
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 12 Apr.'09 / 02:19


Damaged equipment in the opposition’s improvised press room installed outside the Parliament. Photo: Civil.Ge

Opposition leaders said that a protest venue outside the Parliament was “raided” by dozens of unknown man “damaging” equipment in an improvised press room used by opposition activists during the rallies.

Irakli Batiashvili of the opposition Republican Party said about 11pm local time on Saturday about 50 men “attacked” the venue, physically assaulted some of the opposition activists, tore banners and smashed computers.

Some eyewitnesses said that attackers carried batons and were dressed in civilian, while others said unknown men were dressed in uniforms of the Tbilisi municipal cleaning service. One staff member from press room told Civil.Ge that men dressed in municipal cleaning service uniforms entered into the press center “and immediately starting smashing computers.” He said three computers, a laptop and a TV set were either damaged or taken by attackers. One technician on the ground said some audio systems were also damaged, but an exact scale of the damage was not yet clear.

Nino Burjanadze, a former parliamentary speaker and leader of Democratic Movement-United Georgia, said she informed police shortly after the incident, but the police had not appeared at the scene. She was speaking standing alongside with other opposition leaders shortly after midnight outside the parliament.

Eka Zguladze, the Georgian deputy interior minister, who summoned a press conference following the opposition leaders’ announcement, said that the incident was “a scuffle” between protesters and street cleaners.

“It is very unpleasant incident for all the sides,” Zguladze said. “I do not want to make any conclusions as the investigation is on its very early stage and it is not fully clear what has exactly happened and what was the result of this standoff between the street cleaners and protesters.”

In a written statement released after Zguladze’s briefing, the Interior Ministry said: “When the cleaning crew arrived, they were accosted and physically attacked by civilians who were participating in the demonstrations. Computer and sound equipment was damaged. No serious injuries occurred.”

Zguladze said that police was studying footage from CCTV cameras, which are installed on the incident site on Rustaveli Avenue.

The opposition leaders demanded from the Interior Ministry to make the footage public. Zguladze said footage “will become available.”

It was the first major incident during the protest rallies organized by more than dozen of opposition parties to demand President Saakashvili’s resignation.

April 11 was the third consecutive day of these rallies. The opposition leaders decided to suspend the rally for one day on April 12, when Orthodox Christians mark Palm Sunday and to resume demonstrations from Monday. When the incident took place the rally was already dispersed and only few dozen opposition activists were present on the venue to, as opposition leaders said, watch over the equipment.

“The police have been showing maximum restraint, as well as protesters throughout these days and the police will not intervene and there will be no impediment to the demonstrations no matter how many days they last,” the deputy interior minister said.

Latest News
21 Feb.'18 18:14
Crimean Tatar Mejlis Chairman Visits Georgia
Refat Chubarov met Georgian parliamentary speaker and government minister during his stay in the country.
21 Feb.'18 16:38
President Campaigns to Engage Youth in Centennial Celebrations
Georgia will mark the centennial anniversary of restoration of its statehood on May 26, 2018.
21 Feb.'18 13:26
Foreign Minister Warns Against Visa-Waiver Abuse
Over 220,000 Georgian citizens have enjoyed visa free travel to the Schengen area.
20 Feb.'18 15:19
The Weekly Tripwire - Issue 27
Civil.ge’s news digest covering developments in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.
19 Feb.'18 17:53
Tbilisi City Court Releases Turkish Citizen on Bail
Mustafa Emre Çabuk has been released pending final court decision on his extradition to Turkey.
19 Feb.'18 15:49
CSOs, Media Outlets Call for Parliamentary Probe into Mukhtarli Case
The joint statement has been signed by 35 local civil society organizations and media outlets.
19 Feb.'18 14:09
Georgian PM Meets World Leaders in Munich
Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili attended the Munich Security Conference on February 16-18.
16 Feb.'18 16:58
Government Unveils New Tax Initiative for Small Businesses
According to the initiative, tax rates for small businesses will decrease fivefold.
16 Feb.'18 15:06
Georgian Economy Minister Visits Azerbaijan
Kumsishvili attended the Fourth Ministerial Meeting of Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council. 
15 Feb.'18 17:39
Independent Agency to Investigate Crimes Committed by Law Enforcement Officers
The agency will be established in 2019, and will replace the Office of Personal Data Protection Inspector.

About Civil Georgia
Civil.Ge © 2001-2018, Daily News Online
Registered office: 2 Dolidze Str, 4-th Floor.
68