The Georgian Interior Ministry released a statement on Tuesday saying that the police had to arrest 11 participants of the protest rally on Heroes’ Square on January 3 after the protesters resisted police orders.
“[Detainees] were holding a rally and installed self-made tents at the memorial of heroes fallen for the unity of Georgia. Participants of the rally refused to obey requests of Patrol Police to remove tents, offered resistance and verbally insulted police officers. Some of the rally participants were extremely active, who were under obvious alcohol influence,” the Interior Ministry’s statement reads, adding that tests showed two of the detainees were under the influence of alcohol.
Detainees are charged with petty hooliganism and disobedience to police orders, facing either fine or maximum 90-day jail term. The Tbilisi City Court will hear their case on January 4.
Tbilisi-based legal advocacy group, Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) said in a statement on Tuesday that break up of hunger strike by the police “with use of excessive force” on January 3 amounted “to illegal restriction” of constitutionally guaranteed right of assembly. It said, that said that there was no legal ground whatsoever to disperse the rally, which was held fully in line with the law.