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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Georgian Political Parties gather on Rustaveli Avenue

Employees of the respective divisions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs have been mobilized outside the Parliament for the second day to hold the protest in a peaceful environment.

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Georgia: Employees of the respective divisions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs have been mobilized outside the Parliament for the second day to hold the protest in a peaceful environment.

On April 15, 2024, civic activists and representatives of various political parties gathered at 10:00 a.m. on Zurab Zhvania Street at the back entrance of the Parliament Building and protested peacefully throughout the day. At 19:00, demonstration members gathered on Rustaveli Avenue in front of the Parliament Building. 

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Given the number of protesters, after an agreement with the organizers, the police closed Rustaveli Street so that the rally-demonstration participants could express their protest without restriction.

As the public knows, in parallel with the protest, a meeting of the Legal Committee was held in the legislative body, attended by MPs, members of Parliament, NGOs, and the media.

One of the speakers at the protest rally on Rustaveli Avenue called on the citizens to march around the Parliament while the building was still underway.

Based on the previous year’s experience, the Ministry of Interior has decided not to allow protesters to continue demonstrating at the side entrances of the Parliament Building to block possible exits, prevent violent acts, and protect law and order on the spot. 

Therefore, police cordons were placed on Chichinadze and Chitadze streets at the entrances of Parliament. In addition, the demonstration participants on Rustaveli Avenue could express their protest without any restrictions.

They want to remind the public that similar calls made at the gathering-demonstration on March 7-8 last year that the participants of the demonstration should be arranged near the Parliament building resulted in attacks on the police, both with vulgar subjects and so on.

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Also, although on March 7-8, the police completely liberated the area from police cordons after deputies and apparatus left the parliament building, the protesters started storming the parliament building, setting fire to the building, damaging security guards and heads, and also trying to enter the parliament building. In addition, cars belonging to the Ministry and special police equipment were destroyed.

Targeted, mass violation of public order lasted for several hours. Police, to restore order, used proportional force and unique means several times.

Based on the mentioned experience, on April 15, 2024, the police took all necessary preventive measures to prevent violence and mass confrontation and ensure that citizens gathered on Rustaveli Avenue have the right to assemble and demonstrate. Despite several calls from law enforcers, protesters still attempted to break police cordons, while police arrested 14 people.

An employee of the patrol police department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was injured during violent actions by protesters.

Employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs remain on Rustaveli Avenue.

Law enforcement will ensure the safety of law enforcement on the scene and the safety of both those in the legislature and protesters. We urge the organizers and participants of the gathering not to break the law, protest peacefully, and obey law enforcers’ instructions.

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