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Movement of Protesters from Provinces Curbed ? Opposition

A convoy of cars and minibuses with protesters traveling from Adjara Autonomous Republic to Tbilisi to participate in the November 2 protest rally was stopped and attacked by unknown group of young men, reports said on November 1.

A video footage aired by Imedi TV showed couple of vehicles blocking a convoy of protesters? cars, as several men in black civilian cloths forcefully seizing minibus? keys from drivers and running away.

Eter Turadze, an editor of the Adjara?s local newspaper, Batumelebi, told Civil.Ge on the phone that the both roads from Adjara to Tbilisi were blocked by unknown group of young men.

?We do not know who these people are. They are blocking the tunnel at Chakvi, as well as the bypass road,? she said.

Opposition leaders said the incident in Adjara was the recent in series of the authorities? attempts to thwart November 2 protest rally in Tbilisi by creating obstacles to opposition activists in the provinces. Opposition claims that the authorities, in particular, have restricted movement of public transport in the provinces.

?We have information that even the train tickets were not sold,? Salome Zourabichvili, leader of opposition Georgia?s Way party said on November 1.

The state-run Georgian Railway Ltd. however denied these allegations as groundless.

Shota Khizanishvili, a Georgian Interior Ministry spokesman, also denied that obstacles were created on the roads in the provinces.

?Movement on the roads in the provinces is absolutely free and no obstacles are created,? he said. “There was a problem in tunnel in Adjara, but it was a technical problem which will be resolved and movement via tunnel will be soon resumed.?


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