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Two More Arrested for “Group Violence”

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Police arrested two more people on charges of organizing, heading and participating in group violence outside the Parliament building in Tbilisi on June 20-21.

In a statement of July 26, the Georgian Interior Ministry said the two “participated in group violence, resisted police officers, and attepted to storm on the Parliament building in an organized way.”

19 persons have been charged so far, including MP Nika Melia of the opposition National Movement party, whose freedom of movement has already been restricted by placing an ankle bracelet, a satellite device that defendants under house arrest are required to wear.

On July 25, police also arrested Irakli Okruashvili, Georgia’s Ex-Defense Minister (2004-2006), on the same charges.

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.

The investigation into organizing and participating in group violence in connection with the June 20-21 developments, as well as into the fact of exceeding official powers by law enforcement officers during the June 20-21 protest rally was launched on June 24.

For more follow our tag on Tbilisi protests

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