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2 years pass since June 20-21 events

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Monday, June 21
Two years have passed since the dispersal of the anti-occupation rally on Rustaveli Avenue in front of the Parliament, which, according to official data, injured 275 people. Among them, several received severe bodily injuries, lost their eyes and vision.

To remember the events that took place in front of the Parliament building in 2019, people gathered on Rustaveli Avenue. With a slogan of “No to the Amnesty of the Occupiers,” activists protested the dispersal of 2019 protests and the amnesty bill passed by the parliament of Georgia, according to which, all persons who committed crimes in connection with the events of June 20-21, 2019, are exempted from criminal liability and punishment.

Protesters said the planned amnesty is a continuation of the occupation and collaborationism.

On June 20, 2019, the anti-occupation rally was held on Rustaveli Avenue. The rally followed the 26 sessions of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the Orthodox Church in the Georgian Parliament.

During the session, the chair of the Parliament's speaker was occupied by Sergei Gavrilov, who is a Communist member of the Russian Duma. Gavrilov was the chairman of the session, which attended representatives from 25 countries and was initiated by the former member of the Parliamentary majority, Zakaria Kutsnashvili.

Because of the chairman of the session, many regard the protests as “Gavrilov’s night”. Gavrilov taking a seat on the Parliament's chairperson's place was followed by a massive outrage and protest of the parliamentary opposition and society. The assembly was canceled and Gavrilov was taken to the Tbilisi International Airport by the security guards in a few hours.

The situation became tense in front of the parliament by 22 o'clock. Some protesters moved to the stairs of the parliament. Special forces appeared on Rustaveli Avenue, and soon the law enforcers released tear gas and started dispersal of the rally. Following the protests, on June 21, then Chairman of the Parliament Irakli Kobakhidze resigned.

The representatives of the Georgian Dream say that the protesters tried to enter the building of the parliament. According to one of the members of the ruling party Sozar Subari, “it was an attack on the parliament, we all saw how the police officers were beaten with various objects, while protesters tried to invade the parliament.”

Yesterday, activists focused on the Amnesty Bill passed in the Georgian Parliament. Releasing people arrested during the June 20-21 is part of the Charles Michel document, which was signed by the government and part of the opposition on April 19.