Five people were arrested and jailed for 15 days in connection to a clash between activists of opposition Georgian Dream and supporters of the authorities in the village of Karaleti in Shida Kartli region on July 12, the Interior Ministry said on Saturday.
One of those five men was arrested for “verbally and physically insulting” a journalist during the incident, the Interior Ministry said.
Among those five, three men were part of the group of Georgian Dream activists, who were in Karaleti for a campaign meeting.
There have been several minor incidents during the Georgian Dream’s campaign meetings in the villages of Shida Kartli region recently in lead up to Ivanishvili’s campaign rally in Gori planned for July 15, but the July 12 incident in Karaleti was the second serious one in less than three weeks.
A fistfight erupted in the village of Mereti also in Shida Kartli region, close to the administrative border with breakaway South Ossetia, on June 26 when Bidzina Ivanishvili was holding a campaign meeting with locals. Four people, including two Georgian Dream activists, were arrested and jailed for ten days.
The Georgian Dream coalition said in a statement on July 13, that recent incidents in Shida Kartli region were provoked by the authorities and it was now becoming “a dangerous trend.”
“The Georgian Dream coalition calls on the authorities to immediately eradicate such incidents in order to prevent the process once again going beyond constitutional limits and growing into civil confrontation,” it said. “The Georgian Dream reiterates that it will not turn from the path of political struggle and will continue its activities through full observance of laws and will change the current authorities through elections.”
It also called on the authorities to secure safety of participants of a campaign rally planned in Gori on July 15.