Column of cars is underway to Tbilisi to join rally in support of imprisoned ex-President Saakashvili
Supporters of Mikhaïl Saakashvili protest in Tbilisi
A column of dozens of cars is moving from Western Georgia to Tbilisi, where a rally in support of ex-President Mikhail Saakashvili is has begun at 18:00 on October 14, 2021.
He was arrested on October 10 upon arriving in Tbilisi after eight years of absence and went on a hunger strike in prison. A large group of activists from the ruling Georgian Dream party tried to block the convoy near the town of Abash.
They threw brooms at cars, which for many in Georgia is a negative symbol of the period of Mikhail Saakashvili’s presidency. In 2012, the change of power took place after the scandal erupted over the publication of video footage of sexual violence in prisons using brooms.
Ani Tsitlidze, a representative of the opposition United National Movement (created by Mikhail Saakashvili), said that the attackers included members of the Sakrebulo (local government) Tazo Patsatsia, Edita Kodua, Zaza Prokopenko and Mamuka Toloraya.
The police soon cleared the road, and the convoy continued to move to the capital.
Khatia Dekanoidze, the majoritarian candidate of the National Movement in Kutaisi, also accuses the government of pressure and use of administrative resources for its own purposes.
Dekanoidze claims that in Kutaisi, brooms were forcibly handed out to municipal employees and who were demanded to go out onto the highway.
The main demand of the rally announced at 6 pm on October 14 at Freedom Square in Tbilisi is the release of Mikhail Saakashvili from prison.
For 15 days, the ex-president continues his hunger strike, claiming that his arrest was illegal and politically motivated. His personal doctor sounded the alarm and said that his condition was getting worse.
Several criminal cases have been launched against the third president of Georgia, who has already been convicted in one case and sentenced to six years in prison.
In the status of a wanted person, he was transferred to a prison in the city of Rustavi immediately after his arrest. On the same evening, he went on a hunger strike.