Protesters Involved in Parliament Blocking Sentenced to Administrative Detention

The Tbilisi City Court, which has been considering the cases of 37 protesters charged with hooliganism and disobedience to police orders after blocking the Parliament building on November 18, has sentenced 10 people to administrative detention, also imposed a GEL 1,000 fine on one person and gave a verbal warning to another.

Judge Valerian Pilishvili has sentenced Beka Basilia, Irakli Nadiradze and Dimitri Bidzinashvili to 13-day administrative detentions; Giga Makarashvili and Zuka Berdzenishvili – to 12-day and 7-day administrative detentions, respectively; Giorgi Bunturi and Luka Bunturi – to 5-day administrative detention and Irakli Kacharava and Dato Mzhavanadze – to 4-day administrative detention.

Guram Mchedlishvili will have to pay a fine at GEL 1,000. Paata Sosanashvili was released from courtroom after the judge gave him a verbal warning.

The court launched considerations on November 19, yet postponed the hearings to 2pm on November 20, as all the 37 cases were considered by single judge. Judge Pilishvili delivered its ruling at 1:30am on November 21.

The court will consider the cases of the remaining 25 persons today, at 3pm.

Giorgi Mshvenieradze, human rights activist, who defends the rights of some protesters detained during blocking the Parliament, said following the court ruling that the judge ruled that protesters violated the law in the part of disobedience to police orders, while hooliganism charges brought against them were not confirmed.

Mshvenieradze also noted that the judge was “very strict” and that his ruling on the majority of cases was built on explanations of only one police officer. “Unfortunately, the judge delivered his ruling with such weak and low standards,” Mshvenieradze said, adding that they will challenge the court ruling in the Tbilisi Court of Appeals.

Like in previous days, the yesterday’s trial was held amid protests by civil rights activists and opposition parties, as well as high police presence inside the court building.

With 101 votes in favor and three against, the Georgian Parliament downvoted the bill that would have changed Georgia’s mixed electoral system to fully proportional one from 2020, instead of 2024. With the failure to pass the amendment, the ruling Georgian Dream party backtracked on its key commitment to Tbilisi protests in June.

Protesters, demanding snap elections with fully proportional system, blocked all entrances of the Georgian Parliament on Sunday. The leaders of European Georgia, United National Movement and New Georgia, as well as their supporters and civic activists erected tents, placed barricades and sandbags outside the Parliament building.

The next day, on Monday noon, riot police removed barricades using water cannons and cleared the legislature’s entrances from protesters. 37 protesters were arrested on charges of petty hooliganism and disobedience to police orders. Six persons, including four protesters and two police officers sustained injuries, according to the Interior Ministry.

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

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