The leader of the New Georgia opposition party has announced further demonstrations in the capital Tbilisi on the evening (local time) of Friday, June 21, following violent clashes overnight. Protesters are being called to rally on Rustaveli Avenue starting at 19:00. Significant transportation and business disruptions are expected in the area and demonstrators may attempt to erect roadblocks. A heightened security presence is anticipated, and police officers will likely use force to disperse crowds. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Friday evening’s protest comes hours after security forces violently disperse anti-government demonstrators who were rallying outside of the parliament building overnight from June 20-21. Police officers used tear gas, rubber bullets, and water cannons to disperse the protesters after they attempted to storm the building. At least 30 civilians and 39 police officers were wounded in the clashes.
Around 10,000 anti-government protesters rallied outside of parliament on the night of Thursday, 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.
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.
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