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Interior Minister states that March 21 rally will be peaceful

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, March 20
Minister of Internal Affairs Aleksandre Gomelauri will consult with the UNM organizers of the street rally scheduled on March 21 on Rustaveli Avenue.

The aim of the meeting will be maintaining peace in the course of the rally, which the UNM says aims at changing the current Georgian government.

The opponents of the UNM also plan a counter-rally that day and this could affect the safety of the rally.

The minister ensures that the counter rally will have no contact with the UNM demonstration, and all safety norms and measures will be in place.

He says that the information with regard to the logistics – closed streets and parking places for the vehicles coming from the regions – will be announced on March 20.

A couple of days ago the ministry released a special statement in which it appealed to people not to violate public order and to act in accordance with the law.

“Law enforcement will have a quick response to each violation, ensuring that offenders will bear strict punishment in accordance with the law.

“The Georgian government respects and protects basic human rights and freedoms, including the right to assembly and manifestation,” the statement reads, reminding all the sides involved in the rally of their civil obligations.

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili described the minister’s statement as “very good” and stressed that holding peaceful rallies and expressing attitudes openly is part of any democratic state.

“I feel sorry for the people who experienced harassment and inhumane treatment under the UNM government. But we should not allow for there to be any turmoil and unrest in the country. The rally will be held in accordance with the law, and we will ensure its peaceful competition,” Gharibashvili said.

The UNM is skeptical of these statements. They claim that the ministry staff is threatening UNM supporters who intend to participate in the rally.

UNM MP Pavle Kublashvili stresses that the names of the officers are known for the party, and all the embassies and the diplomatic corps will be informed about them and any violations that occur.