Protest rally in front of the Georgian Parliament in Tbilisi. Photo by Beslan Kmuzov for the Caucasian Knot

21 June 2019, 18:15

In Tbilisi, 240 people hospitalized after dispersal of protest action

This morning, a protest rally in front of the parliament building in the capital of Georgia has ended with detentions of protesters. According to the Georgian Ministry for Public Health, 240 people were hospitalized.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on June 20, in Tbilisi, protesters demanded resignation of the heads of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) and the State Security Service (SSS). They tried to break through the police cordon and enter the yard of the parliament, after which a mass brawl broke out of protesters with policemen, who used tear gas and rubber bullets. Beslan Kmuzov, a "Caucasian Knot" correspondent, who attended the protest action, was hospitalized with a wound in his head.

Out of 240 hospitalized people, 80 are policemen, reports today Zaza Bokhua, Georgian Deputy Health Minister. According to him, at present, two persons are undergoing surgeries, one person stays in severe, but stable condition, and the rest hospitalized people are being examined.

"In most cases, victims suffered body injuries, eye injuries, and beatings ... In two cases, persons lost an eye," said Zaza Bokhua on the air of the Georgian "Rustavi-2" TV Company. The Deputy Health Minister has also added that in cases of tear gas poisoning, victims got medical assistance at the scene from ambulance brigades, and most of the victims have already been discharged from hospitals.

Throughout the night on June 21, special forces fighters pushed the protesters back from the parliament building using a water cannon, tear gas, and rubber bullets. The special forces fighters completely occupied the entire section of Rustaveli Avenue in front of the parliament, the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent reports.

Despite the incident, the leaders of the opposition parties have announced that the protest actions will not be stopped, and the protest will be continued in front of the parliament building in the evening on June 21.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on June 21, 2019 at 01:36 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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

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