More than 20 Supporters of Saakashvili's Party Detained in Tbilisi
OREANDA-NEWS. Georgian police have detained more than two dozen supporters of the opposition «United National Movement» (UNM) party, founded by former President Mikheil Saakashvili. The arrest was made at the party's office in Tbilisi. The reason was insubordination to the demands of the police during the operation to arrest the party chairman Nikiya Melia.
The Georgian opposition announced a protest action in connection with the arrest of Melia. One of the leaders of the UNM, Khatia Dekanoidze, called on citizens to gather in the afternoon of February 23 at the government administration building.
The detention of Melia was authorized by the Tbilisi court after the deputy failed to pay a bail of more than $12 thousand in the case of riots at the rally in June 2019. The politician, who was awaiting arrest, barricaded himself and his supporters in the party's office in Tbilisi. To disperse them, the security forces used pepper gas.
«Despite numerous warnings, those gathered in the party office refused to comply with the legal demands of the police and began to resist the security forces. Accordingly, in the performance of their duties, the police used proportionate force provided for by law and special means», the official website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the republic informs.
Even after the opposition leader was handcuffed, the perimeter of the party building is still cordoned off by the police. On the street, near the office of the «United National Movement», it's activists and leaders of other opposition parties gathered. They protest against the actions of the police, but do not clash with them, only chant slogans.