23 April 2019, 08:16
Rights defenders and opposition criticize Georgian authorities for aggravation in Pankisi
The protest against the construction of hydropower plants (HPPs) in the Pankisi Gorge has demonstrated the authorities' inability to conduct dialogue with the population, activists of oppositional parties have stated. Georgian human rights organizations demanded the resignation of the newly appointed head of the Ministry of Economy.
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.
MPs from the parliamentary oppositional parties have treated the incident in Pankisi as a "provocation", because the authorities are quite well aware of the fact that the majority of the population is against the construction of HPPs, says the today's report of the "Rustavi-2" Georgian TV Company, which was watched by the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.
"Why did you decide yesterday to resume the construction and attract special force fighters? After all, you knew very well what the appearance of these fighters would cause," said Nika Meliya, an MP from the United National Movement (UNM) Party.
Zurab Chiaberashvili, an MP from the "European Georgia" Party, has drawn attention to the fact that the authorities are unable to run a dialogue with their population. Besides, according to his story, policemen receive "completely meaningless, incompetent and unprofessional orders."
Georgian human rights NGOs have noted that, despite the clashes, which lasted for several hours, no ambulances were sent to the venue. In their joint statement, rights defenders blamed the authorities for the incident and demanded the resignation of the Minister of Economy, Natiya Turnava, appointed just on April 19, 2019.
This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on April 22, 2019 at 7:14 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.
Author: Inna Kukudzhanova; Source: CK correspondent