Civil disobedience rallies in Tbilisi, Batumi against curfew. Photo report
Massive protests took place in Tbilisi and Batumi last night against the curfew which has been in effect throughout Georgia for more than three months due to an increase in the number of coronavirus cases.
All participants were fined, and 11 people were detained in Batumi.
In Tbilisi, the protest march began from the parliament building at exactly 21:00 – when the curfew begins, and lasted until 5:00 – when it ends.
In the last two months, from November 28, 2020, severe restrictions have been in force in Georgia. The restrictions will be somewhat eased starting February 8, when public transport will start working. Schools will reopen on 15 February. However, the curfew remained in place, irritating much of the population.
The protest march was attended by about two hundred people. Among them were opposition politicians – Elena Khoshtaria, Zurab Japaridze, Khatia Dekanoidze and others.
Many residents of Tbilisi supported the protesters from the windows, clapped and shouted in solidarity. Video from TV channel Formula:
Demonstrators marched through the city center with trumpets, whistles, drums and music. The situation was controlled by about 300 police officers. They did not start to fine the protesters for violating the curfew right away, but only when they reached Ded Ena Park. The fine is 2,000 lari [about $600], the protesters say they will not pay it.
In Batumi, a civil disobedience protest took place on the Alley of Heroes. Unlike Tbilisi, here the police detained 11 people by force. They were charged with disobeying a legal order from the police.
The opposition demands the resignation of those police officers who were in charge of the dispersal. Bondo Tedoradze, a member of the opposition United National Movement party, said the police overstepped their authority and should be followed by the dismissal of the region’s deputy head of the criminal police, Achar Irakli Chedishvili.
So far, however, another permutation has followed. The director of the regional police department, Achara Kote Ananiashvili, has resigned and is expected to head up the patrol police in Tbilisi. And Irakli Chedishvili received a promotion and became the acting head of the regional police department.
Vazha Siradze, who until now was in charge of the Tbilisi patrol police, will continue his activity as the head of the district police of the Kvemo Kartli region.