Police Deny Firing Projectiles at Protesters
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 8 May.'09 / 00:10

Protester shows a projectile allegedly fired by riot police during confrontation at the Tbilisi police headquarters late on 
May 6. Photo: InterPressNews

The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) has strongly denied that the police used rubber bullets or any other type of projectiles against protesters during the confrontation at the Tbilisi police headquarters late on May 6.

Number of opposition figures, including Levan Gachechiladze, Gia Maisashvili, Zviad Dzidziguri, Shalva Obgaidze, were seen in TV footage during the confrontation between the riot police and protesters with blood stains in their heads. Some other opposition activists, as well as at least one cameraman and a female journalist from public TV, also two security guards of Nino Burjanadze, leader of Democratic Movement-United Georgia party, were also seen having blood stains in their heads.

Public Defender, Sozar Subari, said on May 7, that two protesters who were hit by projectiles had lost sight in one eye.

Projectiles, which were found at the incident site, visually resemble the ones used in 18mm FN 303 less lethal launcher, manufactured by FN Herstal. According to the producer company, FN 303 is accurate at 25 meters and “offers a very high probability of torso hits at 50 meters.” Using compressed air to launch projectiles, the FN303 gives no flash, very little sound and almost no recoil, according to the manufacturer.

A senior official from the Interior Ministry has declined to discuss the matters related with the arms available in the police, citing that the information was confidential.

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