Residents of Shukruti village in western Chiatura municipality, who have protested for more than 100 days over mining activities damaging their homes, finished their hunger strike and protest on June 9 after reaching an agreement with the company.
The Georgian Manganese, a firm that runs the mining sector in Chiatura, released a brief statement on June 10, saying the protesting residents will now be entitled to opt for an assessment of damages by the Levan Samkharauli National Forensics Bureau, as they had demanded. The company said they signed a legally binding deal with the protesters. The Shukruti locals had also demanded the company to cease “unlawful” persecution against the protesters, a demand not explicitly mentioned in the statement.
A Shukruti resident who had partially sewed his mouth shut during the hunger strike, Giorgi Neparidze confirmed that “as a result of constructive dialogue” with the firm, they reached a deal that reflected the protesters’ demands for compensation. “A lot of good and kind deeds can be done with the company’s involvement, provided there is more communication with the locals,” he added.
The development followed negotiations between the Shukruti residents and the company leadership over a three-day span. The Georgian Manganese said previously on June 3 it had already appealed to the National Forensics Bureau to estimate the market price of Shukruti residents’ real estate and the damages the latter sustained.
Prior to the successful negotiation, eleven protesters had gone on a hunger strike gradually since May 11. Arguing that neither local nor central government authorities “took an interest” in their grievances, the Shukruti residents moved on May 30 to Tbilisi and continued their protest outside the U.S. Embassy.
NB: This article was updated on June 10, at 13:13. Statements by the Georgian Manganese and protest leader Giorgi Neparidze were added.
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