An opposition Alliance for Georgia said on June 17, that ten of its activists had been arrested in last few days in various parts of Georgia mainly with charges related to illegal possession of firearms and one with drug-related crime.
The Alliance, which unites New Rights Party, Republican Party and a political team of Irakli Alasania, said that apart of Tbilisi, arrests were conducted in Gori, Lanchkuti, Chokhatauri, Chiatura, Tkibuli and Adigeni. According to the Republican Party most of the arrested persons are its activists.
“Lots of people are behind these [arrested] persons – their families, friends and supporters and the authorities should stop challenging the people; otherwise they will receive an adequate response. I declare it with full responsibility,” Tina Khidasheli of the Republican Party said on June 17.
“Saakashvili should choose – how he will go [from his post]: whether he will go like his teacher [ex-president Eduard] Shevardnadze, or like dictators in some European countries did,” she added.
In a written statement on June 17, Irakli Alasania, leader of Alliance for Georgia, who currently visits the U.S., said that the June 15 “violent crackdown” on the peaceful protesters and beating of Zurab Abashidze, his close ally, outside the Tbilisi police headquarters “has to be assessed as the terror attack on politicians having different points of view.”
He said that the trend “indicates that the authorities have chosen violent 7 November 2007 path for resolving of the acute political crisis.”
“This is the road to inevitable civil confrontation, the responsibility for which has to be fully borne personally by Mikheil Saakashvili,” Alasania said. “We consider the numerous violent acts by the authorities as their response to our multiple calls to urgently start the dialogue to resolve the current political crisis.”
Meanwhile, the opposition Conservative Party said in a statement on June 17, that total of 20 opposition activists have been arrested over various criminal charges and 10 – in connection with various administrative offenses since the launch of street protest rallies on April 9. It also said that over 100 cases of assaults on opposition activists and supporters were registered by various human rights groups and opposition parties since the launch of the protests with none of them being investigated by the police.
Also on June 17, patrol police removed the opposition’s improvised prison cells from the road on Ingorokva street, where the government’s administration is located; a building housing Interior Ministry’s internal investigations unit is located on the same street. Opposition activists from the Conservative Party, camping there for over a month already did not resist.
Bidzina Gujabidze of the Conservative Party said that they themselves planned removing ‘cells’ and reopening of the traffic on the street later on Wednesday evening. “It seams that this information leaked and the patrol police decided to score points in the eye of their bosses,” he said.