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MIA Warns Protesters, Leaders Speak of Provocations

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On the third day of protests outside the Parliament building in Tbilisi, the Interior Ministry has warned protesters to observe public order, calling on them to express their opinions in a peaceful, lawful manner.

In a statement released on June 22, the Ministry noted that 121 out of 305 persons detained during the June 20 rally were sentenced to administrative imprisonment; others were released with an administrative fine or verbal warning.

The Interior Ministry also explained that deliberations on some administrative offences have been postponed.

The rally outside the Parliament resumed at 7pm on June 22 after several thousands of protesters gathered to demand Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia’s resignation, release of protesters detained during the June 20-21 late night developments in Tbilisi and holding the next parliamentary elections through the proportional system.

Unlike the previous day, when protesters were categorical in their statements that the rally was held not by any political party, but by people, condemning the speeches of politicians, today their approach has slightly softened. The organizers of the rally explained that they would not be able to achieve their goals without the help of politicians and therefore, they invited several politicians to the rostrum.

MP Elene Khoshtaria of the European Georgia party, Tamar Kordzaia of the Republica Party, Aleko Elisashvili, founder of Civil Movement of Georgia and Zaal Udumashvili of the United National Movement were among those who addressed the protesters.  

The organizers of the rally said that the State Security Service of Georgia plans to stage provocations, sending the representatives of Georgian Dream’s youth wing to the rally to incite tensions among protesters. MP Sergi Kapanadze of European Georgia even posted their photos on his Facebook page.

Bera Ivanishvili, son of the ruling party’s chairman, Bidzina Ivanishvili wrote a post on his Facebook page expressing solidarity with the recent developments outside the Parliament.

“I want to add my voice to Georgian freedom-loving youth’s frank and fair protest against those shameful processes, which started because of one confused politician’s mistake and continued with violence, staged by besieged revanchists… We, born in the era of independence, will not give up the freedom of our homeland,” Bera Ivanishvili writes.

At this moment, the protesters are moving towards the Georgian Dream’s central office, saying that they would try to make the government hear their voice.

The protesters again voiced their demands outside the Georgian Dream’s office amid heavy police presence. According to media reports, Archil Talakvadze, leader of the parliamentary majority, is presently in the office giving an interview to Imedi TV. The protesters apparently decided to move to the office just by this reason.

After holding a brief rally outside the ruling party’s office, the protesters returned to their previous location outside the Parliament. At this moment, the rally has been over and it will resume at 7pm on June 23.     

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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