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Students Demand Release of Activists Detained at Anti-Eviction Rally

By Liza Mchedlidze
Friday, January 26, 2024
Giorgi Khasaia and Kako Chikobava, activists of the Khma Movement, who were arrested at the protest against eviction on Kekelidze Street, have been imprisoned as a preventive measure. With this decision, Judge Davit Kurtanidze has granted the request submitted by the prosecutor's office.

Students of Tbilisi State University have been demanding the immediate release of Kako Chikobava and other activists arrested on January 23 at the anti-eviction rally and started collecting signatures.

"We stand in solidarity with those who are being evicted from their last refuge, and we stand in solidarity with those who do not sit idly by but instead declare civil disobedience against the horrors of eviction.

If Akaki Chikobava and other detainees from the violent eviction are not released, we cannot avoid large-scale student protests. This means that justice is not served in our country, that everything is permitted, that robbery becomes a rule, and that empathy and solidarity are deemed crimes.

This will be a lesson for us!" reads the petition signed by more than 150 students.

The representatives of Ilia State University's social and cultural anthropology doctoral program have also issued a statement demanding the release of another activist Giorgi Khasaia.

"When Giorgi Khasaia successfully fulfilled his obligations under the program and was preparing to present two chapters of his thesis at the colloquium in mid-February, his removal from academic activities will be a significant blow to both his scientific development and the academic space of our university.

The Doctoral Program of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Ilia State University expresses its solidarity with Giorgi and calls on the relevant authorities to release him in time so that he can fully return to the academic life of the university," the statement reads.