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Police beat and arrested demonstrators

by | Sep 22, 2012

From the first night of demonstrations against prisoner abuse September 18, 2012, outside the old Philharmonic, now known as Tbilisi Concert Hall. (IPN.)

TBILISI, DFWatch – Saturday, a crowd of demonstrators tried to move in on a public service building in Tbilisi as President Mikheil Saakashvili was inside attending the opening ceremony.

But police blocked the road and prevented people outraged over recent revelations of prisoners torture from approaching the new House of Justice.

A group of students among the crowd tried to break through the cordon, which led to a clash between them and the police. Several demonstrators were beaten.

Four persons driving in cars also tried to break into the cordoned off area. They were arrested.

Ministry of Internal Affairs explained the arrest on its website: “they did not obey police’s request and insulted them (…) They are taken to the court”.

The court sentenced one of them, Lasha Meskhia, to 40 days of administrative punishment, and the others to 20 days.

Later, the demonstrators went to Tbilisi Concert Hall and protested against the police violence, demanding the release of the four persons who were arrested.

They blocked two main streets near the concert hall, but police surrounded them and made the demonstrators leave the streets, so traffic could be resumed.

Police formed a chain and there was no confrontation between police and protesters at the concert hall. People decided to leave the area and gather the next day.

“We demonstrated peacefully yesterday and the day before yesterday, we are going to do same today too,” human rights activist Dachi Tsaguria said.

Levan Chitadze, one of the organizers of the demonstration said that Dachi Tsaguria, who left the area, called him and said that maybe he will be arrested. After this, five person followed him to protect him. The police did not arrest Dachi Tsaguria yesterday.

Demonstrators plan to gather at Tbilisi Concert Hall on September 22, at 17:00.



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