“Together in Europe” – UNM Holds Rally in Front of Parliament

The United National Movement (UNM) organized a protest rally called “Together in Europe” in front of the Parliament on April 9.   

The UNM members, supporters, activists, other opposition politicians and ordinary citizens gathered at the rally to declare that Georgian citizens “will not tolerate the Russification of Georgia” and “the loss of freedom.”  

Addressing the protesters, Levan Khabeishvili, leader of the UNM party, said that “Russian propaganda has been defeated”, because “despite our political affiliations, we are here together for the sake of our national interests and the European future of our country.”  

Speaking about the demands of the protests, Khabeishvili stressed that the “number one demand” for the country to obtain a candidate status is the release of Lazare Grigoriadis, 21, who was arrested after the March 7-9 protests on charges of throwing a so-called “Molotov cocktail”.  

Among other demands he listed the “immediate resignation” of judges sanctioned by the U.S. Department of State, the release of imprisoned ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili and director of the government-critical Mtavari Arkhi TV, Nika Gvaramia, as well as the adoption of the law on de-oligarchization, reform of the electoral system and the Central Election Commission.

In order to ensure the country’s European development, Giorgi Vashadze, leader of “Strategy Agmashenebeli”, stressed the need to release “political prisoners” and Lazare Grigoriadis. He said that Georgian Dream is a weapon of hybrid warfare against Georgia’s national interests, and that they only pretend that “they love Georgia, as if they want Europe and European integration, but in reality, we see that they are fulfilling Russian tasks in Georgia.” “We will not tolerate this,” – Vashadze noted, adding that “victory is very close. The main thing is to believe that the Georgian Dream no longer exists.”

Speaking at the rally, Georgia’s ex-President Giorgi Margvelashvili said, “we consider this government to be pro-Russian, orchestrated from Moscow.”   

Beka Grigoriadis, the father of Lazare Grigoriadis, also addressed the rally appealing to the public to help free his son. Grigoriadis said that his son was a victim handpicked by the ruling party, because, according to him, after the protests, government officials spoke accusingly precisely of people who looked like Lazare.

“Just tell me, can a person be tried in today’s court? Can a person be tried in [Levan] Murusidze’s court? If we had a normal court, I would calmly wait for the trial to acquit my son, because I know he did not intend to kill anyone,” he said, adding “please, stand by me so that we can release Lazare and take Georgia once and for all to where Europe is.”

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


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