Multiple arrests after clash outside UNM office

Protesters burned ex-President and leader of UNM Mikheil Saakashvili' s photo on the rally. Photo by IPN, 22 Oct 2014 - 10:12, Tbilisi,Georgia

Six people have been arrested at a protest rally in front of the office of Georgian opposition party United National Movement (UNM) in Tbilisi.

Members of Free Generation, a youth non-governmental organisation, held a protest rally at the UNM office yesterday, which ended with a quarrel and the arrest of six people.

Protesters called for UNM to be removed from the country’s legislative body, Parliament of Georgia and held banners stating "crime + violence = UNM” and "murderers in prison!”.

The peaceful protest turned violent and a clash between police and demonstrators ensured, which resulted in the arrest of Free Generation member Zurab Bigvava. Five others who were arrested were Free Generation member and one was a member of the general public.

The confrontation began after protesters threw eggs at the UNM office – an action that was condemned by police.

Meanwhile, in response to the protest outside the party office, UNM played two songs – the national anthem of the police and a song titled "Misha is the best”.

Of the people taken into custody, three were arrested under Article 166 of the Administrative Code, which referred to disorderly conduct. Two were arrested for disobedience to police under Article 173 of the Administration Code and one was arrested under the both Articles of the Code. The accused will face court today.

Before the protest rally ended, demonstrators said more protests will continue in the future.

This was not the first time Free Generation has hosted a protest rally in front of the UNM office. All previous demonstrations ended with multiple arrests because of physical and verbal abuse.