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Three More Persons Arrested for Participation in ‘Group Violence’

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The Georgian Interior Ministry announced today that three more persons have been arrested on charges of participating in group violence during the June 20-21 protests.

Mamuka Chelidze of the Georgian Interior Ministry said at a news briefing today that all of them resisted police officers and assaulted them using various items, trying to storm the Parliament building.

The Ministry official explained that as of July 17, twelve persons, including MP Nika Melia of the opposition National Movement party, have been charged for organizing, heading and participating in group violence.

The Interior Ministry also released a video footage, featuring the detainees assaulting police officers.

The Prosecutor’s Office has launched investigation into organizing and participating in group violence in connection with the June 20-21 developments.

On June 25, the Prosecutor’s Office charged Nika Melia under article 225 of the Criminal Code of Georgia. In late June the Tbilisi City Court imposed a GEL 30,000 bail on him and in early July the Court of Appeals upheld the ruling.

On July 4, the Interior Ministry arrested four persons on charges of organizing, heading and participating in group violence outside the Parliament building in Tbilisi.

On the same day, the Prosecutor’s Office announced that a group of individuals plotted “a violent overthrow of the government followed by seizing of power” during the rally outside the Parliament building on June 20-21.

Background

A group of opposition and civic activists gathered in front of the parliament of Georgia, condemning the Russian delegation’s presence at a session of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy in the parliament’s plenary chamber on June 20.

Tensions mounted around 10pm Tbilisi time on June 20, when part of the protesters tried to break through the first cordon of the police, but were pushed back by the riot police. Situation remained tense overnight.

240 people, including 80 police officers and 32 journalists have been treated for injuries. Many severe injuries to civilians occurred later during the night after the police dispersed protesters through massive use of tear gas and rubber bullets, including so called “less-lethal” rounds.

Peaceful demonstrations will gather in front of the Parliament of Georgia for the 28th day today again demanding Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia’s resignation for the police dispersal of the June 20-21 rally.

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

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