26 members of pro-Russian right-wing radical group Alt-Info detained in Georgia
Detention of Alt-Info members in Georgia
The Georgian Interior Ministry has detained 26 members of the pro-Russian right-wing radical group Alt-Info, including its leaders Zurab Makharadze and Irakli Martynenko, as well as Guram and Alexander Palavandishvili. The detention took place during a protest against the festival organised by Tbilisi Pride week.
The protesters were detained – on administrative charges of hooliganism and disobedience to police orders and it is unlikely that the arrests came as part of the investigation of threats and incitement to violence, because of which on June 27 the police interrogated Zurab Makharadze, Koka Morgoshia and Shota Martynenko.
On July 2, the last event of the Pride Week is scheduled to take place in Tbilisi – a queer music festival.
Following the events of last year, when the radicals attacked more than 50 media representatives, this year Tbilisi Pride refused to hold a public action. Despite this, immediately after the announcement of the Pride Week, pro-Russian groups announced their plans to disrupt it.
The founders of Alt-Info, Koka Morgoshia, Zurab Makharadze and Shota Martynenko, were summoned for interrogation at the Tbilisi Police Headquarters on June 27.
Law enforcement officers’ questions were related to the planned action against the LGBT community on July 2. The founders of Alt-Info insist that there will be no violent actions, although they say they do not rule out certain provocations.
On June 27, Tbilisi Pride held an emergency briefing and asked the Georgian authorities to ensure the safety of each participant. The Public Defender of Georgia Nino Lomjaria joined the statement.
In parallel with the war in Ukraine, the pro-Russian ultra-radical media organization Alt-Info, whose representatives created a political party at the end of last year, became especially active in Georgia.
The audience of Alt-Info content hears exclusively the Russian version of the war in Ukraine – one in which the West, which provoked Ukraine, and Zelensky, who did not spare his people for the sake of NATO. As for Georgia, allegedly, the only salvation and pragmatic solution is a dialogue with Russia, since, according to Alt-Info, only Russia can return the occupied territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. This is the angle that the presenters of the TV channel constantly.
The opposition believes that the country’s authorities are behind this organization and its strengthening harms the country’s security. Non-governmental organizations and experts also confirm the connection of the Alt-Info group with the government.