Residents of Pankisi in front of police cordon. Screenshot from video by Public broadcaster of Georgia, https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=58&v=TpVeQeOK82g

23 April 2019, 11:07

Georgian activists support Pankisi residents

Three solidarity actions with the residents of the Pankisi Gorge, who are protesting against the construction of a chain of hydropower plants (HPPs), have been held in Tbilisi and Batumi. Activists called on the authorities to abandon the construction and punish the policemen for an excessive use of force.

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.

In Tbilisi, the support actions of Pankisi protesters were held on April 21 and 22 in front of the parliament building. In Batumi, the action took place on April 21. The organizers demanded from the authorities not to detain Pankisi protesters, to refuse to build the HPPs, and punish those, who have given an order to policemen to use force against the protesters, the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent has reported.

The organizers of the actions – activists Irakli Kupradze and Lasha Chkhartishvili – believe that the construction of HPPs could not have been started without negotiations with local residents.

"The authorities have chosen the way of violence, refused to talk with the protesters and brought special fighters to the villages of the Akhmeta District. The protest was dispersed with truncheons and tear gas," Irakli Kupradze wrote on the action preview page in the Facebook social network on April 21.

He believes that the authorities should apologize to Pankisi residents for the violent dispersal of the rally.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on April 23, 2019 at 00:44 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Inna Kukudzhanova, Galina Gotua; Source: CK correspondents

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