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Students Assaulted at TSU During GD Chair Irakli Kobakhidze’s Lecture

A violent clash erupted at Tbilisi State University during a lecture by Irakli Kobakhidze, the Chair of the Georgian Dream party. The incident occurred when unidentified individuals (reportedly up to 20 persons) physically confronted students who were trying to display protest banners in response to Kobakhidze’s remarks about youth he has been making recently.

One of the students involved said: “These (attackers) are not students; they are people brought by Kobakhidze.”

A video circulating on social media shows the physical altercation and a student being pushed down the stairs. As a result of the confrontation, one student – Luka Shvelidze was injured and needed immediate medical attention.

During his previous lecture at the University last week, Kobakhidze faced a separate incident where Russian currency (rubles) were thrown at him from the stairs in an act of protest. In response, he made derogatory comments, referring to the protesting students as “youths with mixed orientation.”

In a later reported development, a person with a gun, dressed as a civilian, entered the ward of the beaten student in Khechinashvii Clinic. Luka Shvelidze claimed that an unknown man introduced himself to him as a policeman and added that the person was under influence. Shvelidze says that when he started to ask the armed man questions, the unknown man got angry, pulled out his gun, tried to intimidate him and twisted the student’s hands. The individual, was detained after people present at the clinic protested and called the police.

Meanwhile, two protest rallies have been announced today, at 18:00 by the TSU, and 20:00 by the Parliament building, in response to the violence against the youth that took place today in Tbilisi and Borjomi.

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