Four Pro-Saakashvili Protesters Detained

Police have detained four protesters, rallying on November 29 outside the Tbilisi City Court in support of jailed ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, on criminal charges.

According to the investigation, the four persons resisted and attacked the police officers during the protest going on in parallel to Saakashvili’s trial. The probe is continuing under Articles 353(1) – resistance, threat or violence against a police officer – and 3531(1) – attacking a police officer – of the Criminal Code.

The detainees, according to police, had climbed up on the security police cabin during the protest and refused to come down and continue their protest in a safer place.

Law enforcement officers apprehended one of the suspects, Besik Tamliani on November 29, and the rest on December 1. Interior Ministry said the detainees could face two to five years in prison, if convicted.

Tamliani has already been charged. The Tbilisi City Court decided on December 1 to remand Tamliani in pre-trial custody. The detainee denies the charges and has gone on a hunger strike in protest.

Several minor scuffles broke out on November 29 between Saakashvili’s supporters and the police. Footage also showed police using what seemed like pepper spray against several protesters. Several people had to be treated by emergency physicians, including a cameraman of Kavkasia TV.

On the same day, the Interior Ministry reported they had detained 15 persons on administrative grounds for disorderly conduct (Article 166 of Administrative Offences Code) and non-compliance with a lawful order or demand of a law enforcement officer (Article 173). It also confirmed using “special means” against some of the protesters.

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