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Three people detained as situation near Parliament escalates

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Monday, September 9
Members of the Movement #Shame have lined up a crime scene tape after around the building of Georgian Parliament after the approval of Giorgi Gakharia's government.

Earlier, after the decision was announced, they gathered at one of the Parliament entrances to organize a corridor of shame for Gakharia and MP’s who voted in favor of his government. However, according to them, Gakharia left the parliament building from other entrance.

Activists have been gathering outside the Parliament building since yesterday morning. During the gathering, protesters brought sheep with them and said that the animals represented members of the parliamentary majority.

Member of the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia, Emzar Kvitsiani, went out of the building and verbally and physically assaulted the protesters. Police could not arrest Kvitsiani because of his MP immunity, but they managed to remove him from the scene.

During the protests, Nodar Rukhadze, one of the organizers of the movement called the police and said that Davit Matiashvili and Nukri Kantaria were smoking cigarettes in the building of the Parliament. (According to the law of Georgia, smoking is prohibited in the closed public places.)

According to Rukhadze, MPs who were smoking on the balcony and saw protesters went back in the building of the Parliament and resumed smoking there.

Later yesterday, the situation in front of the Parliament escalated, police arrested three people, including Bezhan Gunava, MP. The situation escalated after the members of the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia, along with Gunava and his supporters gathered near the building of parliament to make the protesters leave the Rustaveli Avenue.

Earlier, Gunava told reporters that the participants of the #Shame are "hired traitors of the nation."

“Their place is not at Rustaveli. Rustaveli is an avenue that has seen a lot, where the fate of the country used to be resolved, where the fathers of the country and national movement would gather. We will make them leave this place,” noted Gunava.

According to the head of the Patrol Police Department, Vazha Siradze, all three persons are detained in front of the parliament in an administrative manner. According to him, the group of citizens were aggressive and did not comply with the demands of law enforcers.

Yesterday, on September 8, former Minister of Internal Affairs was appointed as the Prime Minister of Georgia. People gathered in front of the parliament protested the decision. Members of the movement say their protest will continue and a rally will be held on September 20.