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Mass protest in Georgia: country’s president urges Interior Ministry to stop cracking down on peaceful rally – photo, video

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Mass protest in Georgia: country’s president urges Interior Ministry to stop cracking down on peaceful rally – photo, video

Georgian police used tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets targeting people protesting against the law on „foreign agents“ in Tbilisi on the night of 30 April – 1 May. Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili has urged Georgia’s Interior Minister, Vakhtang Gomelauri, to stop cracking down on the peaceful demonstration.

Source: Zourabichvili’s statement on Facebook; Echo of the Caucasus, a Georgia-related project of Radio Liberty

Details: The president also called on public defender Levan Ioseliani to immediately respond to the events taking place in Tbilisi.

Protest action in Georgia
Photo: Echo of the Caucasus

Quote from Zourabichvili: „I address the Interior minister to immediately stop the crackdown on the peaceful demonstration, the use of disproportionate force, and violence against young people. It is obvious that the demonstration was peaceful, it posed no danger, there was no threat to public order.“

Protest action in Georgia
Photo: Echo of the Caucasus

More details: The Georgian parliament began considering the draft law on „foreign agents“ in the second reading on 30 April. A rally against the law’s adoption is held in front of the parliament building, with clashes breaking out between protesters and police.

У Тбілісі поліція застосувала сльозогінний газ, водомети та гумові кулі проти людей, що протестують проти закону про “іноагентів”. pic.twitter.com/vOPAT8Fdv7

— Українська правда ✌️ (@ukrpravda_news) April 30, 2024

Police used tear gas near the Georgian parliament building. In addition, some protesters claim that law enforcement officers also used rubber bullets. There are casualties who are being treated on the spot by ambulance staff.

Law enforcement officers also used a water cannon as they cracked down on the protesters.

Before this, there was a warning about the use of special assets.

Participants of the rally on Tbilisi’s Chitadze Street attempted to remove the barriers set up there and block the road with them.

Масовий протест у Грузії: президентка закликала МВС припинити розгін людей pic.twitter.com/D5UkN1dDAy

— Українська правда ✌️ (@ukrpravda_news) April 30, 2024

Meanwhile, law enforcement officers began to detain protesters in front of the parliament.

Before that, the security forces used pepper sprays, leaving several people injured. Ambulance crews are working at the scene. Medics are providing first aid.

The protesters remain on the streets as of 03:00.

Background:

On 29 April, the ruling Georgian Dream party held a rally in front of the Georgian parliament in Tbilisi to support the draft law On Transparency of Foreign Influence, criticised by the West and civil society.
Earlier on Monday, the Georgian parliamentary committee on legal affairs supported the draft law On Transparency of Foreign Influence in the second reading after a 10-hour sitting.
On Monday, the EU once again warned Georgia that the adoption of the law on „foreign agents“ would have consequences for its integration into the European Union.
Earlier, Georgian diplomats issued a statement saying that the decisions of the ruling Georgian Dream party had turned Georgia’s foreign policy course 180 degrees and were moving the Georgian people away from the EU.

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