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Two More Charged over May 17 Violence

Criminal charges were filed against two men in connection to homophobic violence in downtown Tbilisi on May 17, according to the Interior Ministry.

It said on May 24 that two individuals were charged with “encroachment of right to assembly and manifestation”.

The same charges were filed against two Orthodox priests on May 23. The charges carry either fine or one year of “corrective work” or imprisonment for up to two years. Charges were filed without suspects being arrested

According to the Interior Ministry, the two recent charges were pressed particularly in connection to the incident that occurred on Vachnadze Street, close to freedom square, when a van, carrying some of the participants of attempted anti-homophobia rally, was trapped and attacked by large crowd of counter-demonstrators, some throwing stones.

“Investigation regarding the incident that took place on May 17 is still in progress,” the Interior Ministry said.

Three young men and a 16-year-old boy were arrested by the police on May 19 and fined by the court on May 21 with GEL 100 each and released after they were found guilty of petty hooliganism during the May 17 developments.     

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