Rally in Birkiani, Georgia, April 21, 2019. Photo: REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili

22 April 2019, 21:56

Pankisi residents warn authorities about protests if activists are arrested (+video)

33 policemen and three residents of the Pankisi Gorge, who received traumas during the protest action against the construction of hydropower plants (HPPs) in the gorge, have been discharged from the clinic in Telavi. The participants of the rally in the village of Birkiani have warned the authorities that an attempt to arrest activists will result in intensified protests.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on April 21, in Georgia, several hundreds of residents of the Pankisi Gorge gathered for a spontaneous rally in the village of Birkiani in the Akhmeta District to prevent the planned construction of the small "Khadori-3" HPP. During the protest action, clashes occurred between protesters and law enforcers.

After the incident in the Pankisi Gorge, 36 victims were taken to the clinic of the "Evex" Company in Telavi; three of them were locals, and others – policemen, a source from the clinic told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent. "None of them had serious traumas; and all of them were discharged yesterday and today. No life is in danger," said the source.

All the 15 persons detained in the course of protests are at large, the deputy, Ramazan Bakagashvili, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

Today, residents of the Pankisi Gorge gathered in the village of Birkiani to discuss a plan for further action with representatives of local NGOs.

The rally in Birkiani threatened that activists' arrests would lead to even graver consequences than those of the April 21 clashes. "If they (law enforcers, – note of the "Caucasian Knot") start arresting people, we won't stop," the "InterPressNews" quotes one of the local residents as saying.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on April 22, 2019 at 04:27 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Beslan Kmuzov, Galina Gotua; Source: CK correspondent

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