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Rustavi 2 TV Back on Air

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Rustavi 2 TV station resumed broadcasting at 7:30am on July 8, after it went off air earlier at 02:20 citing threats.

Nika Gvaramia, the television’s director general, said before the TV station went off air that Rustavi 2 was suspending broadcasts as several journalists and cameramen were attacked by protesters rallying outside the television. He called on the government to perform its duties and ensure safety of the Rustavi 2 staff.

Protesters gathered outside the Rustavi 2 TV building late at night condemning “provocations” from the company after Giorgi Gabunia, anchor of its prime-time news show P.S., insulted Russian President Vladimir Putin using swear words. The protesters demanded Gabunia to apologize publicly and quit the TV channel.

The rally was over by 04:20, but the protesters announced that they will gather again if the channel resumes broadcasting.

Georgian clerics and pro-Russian groups, among them Dimitri Lortkipanidze, director of the Primakov Georgian-Russian Public Center, gathered at the Parliament building early on July 8 to demand the end of “depravity” ongoing on Rustaveli Avenue over the past days.

Businessman Levan Vasadze’s supporters, who gathered in the Vere Park in the morning, also went to the Parliament building. Initially, they planned to thwart the Pride Parade planned on July 8, but following its cancellation, they decided to express solidarity with the clerics outside the Parliament. The representatives of Georgian March movement have also joined the rally outside the Parliament.

The participants of anti-occupation rally are gathering every evening over the past 18 days demanding the Interior Minister’s resignation. Some of them have been on hunger strike in the tents placed outside the Parliament building for over 10 days. They claim that the rally will resume at 7pm today.

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