Demonstrators still demand resignation of interior minister month after June 20 clashes

Demonstrators held posters with numbers indicating the total amount of people attending the rally. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 20 Jul 2019 - 23:49, Tbilisi,Georgia

Peaceful demonstrators have gathered in front of the parliament of Georgia for the 31st consecutive day this evening, again demanding the resignation of Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia.

Tbilisi protests that were sparked by Russian MPs’ visit to Georgia turned into a violent clash between the demonstrators and police late on June 20.

Photo: Nino Alavidze/

Protests in Tbilisi were sparked after Russian MP Sergey Gavrilov addressed the unternational audience that had gathered for the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy from the seat of the Georgian parliamentary speaker in Tbilisi on June 20.

The rally following the developments in parliament on June 20 was dispersed by police after a part of the demonstrators decided to storm the parliament building. 305 people were detained and 240 injured, including 80 police officers and 32 journalists.

Photo: Nino Alavidze/

Since then peaceful demonstrators have been gathering in front of the parliament building on Rustaveli Avenue in central Tbilisi demanding Interior Minister Gakharia's resignation.

Minister Gakharia said he gave order that the rally was dispersed only after some demonstrators decided to storm the parliament building and police used their “legitimate power” to protect the state “from institutional breakdown” and public confrontation.

Photo: Nino Alavidze/

12 individuals have been charged with organising and participating in group violence during the rally, including opposition member Nika Melia. Two law enforcers have also been detained for abuse of power during the rally.

Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze said “no one who violated the law” during the rally, including the opposition members “who used the justified protest of the youth for their political interests,” will be left unpunished.