The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Wednesday, March 8, 2023
Prepared by Messenger Staff

Government Deploys Police Riots to Disperse Peaceful Protest Rally in Front of Parliament

At the time of writing, a protest is underway on Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi, Georgia, where the riot police have deployed pepper spray and water cannons against peaceful demonstrators.

Protesters took to the streets after the Georgian Parliament's recent vote on the 'Foreign Agents Law' constitutional amendments. The bill, which was rejected by 76 deputies, with 13 others absent, would have given Russia increased influence over Georgia's judiciary.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has issued a statement in which it claims that "proportional force should be used" against protesters who are detained.

The statement added that the protest was staged for the defense of freedom and the right to peaceful assembly, according to the law. The situation remains tense as the protest continues, and police continue to use force to control the crowd.

According to one of the rally participants, a few protestors have been detained at the rally, including Girchi - More Freedom leader Zurab Japaridze.

The witness reported that law enforcers were seen beating them prior to the detention.

Cases of Violence Against Law Enforcement Officers Were Recorded and They Will be Strictly Punished, Kobakhidze Says

Georgian Dream Chairman Irakli Kobakhidze stated at a briefing in the party office that there were cases of violence against law enforcement officers and 'law breakers' will be punished with all the strictness of the law.

Kobakhidze added that the personal information of the initiators and supporters of the 'Foreign Influence Agents' bill was leaked.

"As for the ongoing protest in front of the parliament, there are sincere citizens and also representatives of the radical opposition who are trying and will certainly try to see the benefits of this protest. Unfortunately, there have been cases of violence against law enforcement officers. There are serious physical injuries in the case of law enforcement officers.

Any violator will be punished with all the severity of the law, and the last issue that I would like to touch on is the addresses of the initiators and supporters of this draft law from the people who pretend to be European. This is fascism," he said.

US Embassy in Georgia Says Adoption of Russian Bill is a 'Dark Day' for Georgia's Democracy

The US Embassy in Georgia responded to the adoption of a Russian bill in the Parliament of Georgia and called it a 'dark day' for Georgia's democracy.

According to the embassy, the continuation of the discussion of laws inspired by the Kremlin is incompatible with the integration of Georgia with Europe.

"Today is a dark day for Georgia's democracy. Parliament's advancing of these Kremlin-inspired laws is incompatible with the people of Georgia's clear desire for European integration and its democratic development. Pursuing these laws will damage Georgia's relations with its strategic partners and undermine the important work of so many Georgian organizations working to help their fellow citizens. The process and the draft laws raise real questions about the ruling party's commitment to Euro-Atlantic integration," the statement reads.

Chairman of Georgian Dream Irakli Kobakhidze responded to the statement of the US Embassy and said that today the dark day is only for the 'radical opposition and its supporters'.