Participants in Georgian Railway protest rally detained
Today, the Tbilisi City Court will hear the cases of 10 individuals detained outside the Georgian Railway building. According to Nana Kurdovanidze, a defence lawyer, the lawyers haven’t seen the detention reports yet and are unaware under which articles of the Code of Administrative Offences the detained rally participants have been charged. About 10 people, who were rallying outside the Georgian Railway Head Office in Tbilisi, were detained by the police on 24 August. Among the detainees are members of the ‘Auditorium 115’ student movement, as well as representatives of the railway workers’ new trade union.
The protest rally kicked off on 15 August, after two employees of the Georgian Railway announced a hunger strike. Seven more individuals joined the protest on 17 August. Finally, on 24 August, the rally ended with a confrontation and then detention of the rally participants.
Initially, the rally participants demanded to either be reinstated to their former positions, or be reimbursed for their transportation and living expenses. Later on, they also demanded the release of Dachi Tsaguria, the Head of the Georgian Railway Press Office, as well as Vasil Khorava, Director of the Georgian Railway Infrastructure Branch.
Georgian Railway LLC issued a statement in this regard, placing the blame for the incident on the head of the trade union: “Regrettably, Irakli Petriashvili keeps organizing ‘provocations’ outside the Georgian Railway building. They failed to win the public support and at today’s rally, which was attended solely by their activists, they attempted to burst into the Georgian Railway Head Office. Their attempt was prevented through the efficient actions taken by the police,” reads the statement. The ‘Auditorium 115’ student movement, which was actively supporting the protesters, has called on the authorities to immediately release the detained individuals and timeously settle the railway workers’ problems.