At least six activists of the opposition coalition Georgian Dream have been arrested over the past two days in various parts of the country with most of them charged with administrative offenses.
Sozar Subari of the Georgian Dream alleged on September 23 that series of arrests were part of the authorities’ attempt to keep some of the Georgian Dream activists away from the election process, especially on the election day on October 1.
Georgian Dream’s representative in District Election Commission DEC for Mestia municipality, Kapiton (Kakha) Zhorzholiani was arrested on September 23 and charged with petty hooliganism; the Interior Ministry said that he verbally and physically insulted a member of the Mestia DEC; he was sentenced to 40 days in jail, the Interior Ministry said. His arrest triggered a protest and dozens of people, including his relatives, surrounded a police pick-up outside the local police station in Mestia, not allowing it to take Zhorzholiani to Zugdidi, which is the administrative center of the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region. The Interior Ministry said that a criminal investigation was launched into the case of resisting the police.
Also on September 23 police arrested in the Kaspi municipality of Shida Kartli region Georgian Dream activist and a former police employee Mamuka Jananashvili. The Interior Ministry said that Jananashvili was arrested for “illegally keeping” ammo at home.
Three other activists of the Georgian Dream – Zviad Sabanadze, Giorgi Jankanidze and Petre Tavliashvili – were arrested in Shindisi, village in Gori municipality of Shida Kartli region. The Interior Ministry said that the three men were arrested for disrupting public order and verbally insulting a local resident of Shindisi. Sabanadze, the ministry said, was released after being fined with GEL 100 and two others were jailed for 30 days each.
The Channel 9 TV station reported that a Georgian Dream activist, Ushangi Napireli, was arrested in the village of Vachnadziani in Gurjaani municipality in eastern region of Kakheti for allegedly disrupting public order; he was sentenced to 40 days in prison.