Interior Minister says opposition provoked unrest, then fled scene, abandoned people

  • Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia stated that those ‘provoking the unrest on June 20’ will be held accountable. Photo: Interior Ministry press office., 21 Jun 2019 - 18:13, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia says that “destructive opposition forces,” which managed to transform the Georgian people’s “fair and sincere protest” into violence, fled the scene when unrest erupted and abandoned demonstrators.

I did not see any of them after 10 p.m.,” Gakharia said.

He stated that the police “stood immobile,” until the Georgian statehood and the public safety were placed under the risk.

It was a very hard day yesterday. A very sad fact took place. Politicians and political parties managed to transform the fair and sincere protest of our people into violence targeted against police and state institutions. Protesters tried to occupy the parliament building and the police were forced to take measures,” Gakharia said.

The opposition says that Gakharia must resign and snap parliamentary elections must be held. Photo: Nino Alavidze/ 

He stated that the investigation was launched looking into organising violence by a group and those responsible for the incidents “will be revealed and have to answer for their actions, with the full strength of the law.”

A video is being made which will reflect each minute on the Rustaveli Avenue, during the demonstration,” Gakharia said.

The opposition have announced plans for another rally at 7 p.m. today.

A rally triggered by the presence of Russian MPs in the Georgian parliament was dispersed yesterday by police after demonstrators ignored the appeal of the Interior Ministry to obey law enforcers and decided to break into the parliament building.

240 people were hospitalised after the incident, with 102 still remaining in hospitals.

Georgian Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze and MP Zakaria Kutsnashvili [an organiser of the assembly in Georgia] resigned earlier today.