Local media sources indicate thousands of protesters have gathered in central Tbilisi on Thursday evening (local time), June 20, to denounce the participation of Russian MP Sergey Gavrilov at the General Inter-Parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy. Protests reportedly turned violent after images emerged of Gavrilov sitting in a seat typically reserved for Parliamentary Chairperson Irakli Kobakhidze; Kobakhidze is currently on a state visit to Azerbijian. Police subsequently fired tear gas at protesters after several attempted to storm the parliament building.
A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are possible near all protest sites. Further clashes between police and protesters cannot be ruled out.
Anti-government protesters staged several demonstrations on June 19-20 amid the visit of Sergey Gavrilov, a member of Russia's State Duma, who supports the independence of Georgian breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Gavrilov is in Georgia to attend the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy, held in Tbilisi from June 19-22.
Individuals in Tbilisi are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
Copyright and Disclaimer