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Saturday, 24 March 2018


Tbilisian Altervision: a scandalous final

2009-05-25 21:19

2820.jpegThe Tbilisi Open Air - Alter/Vision festival ended on May 17; however, the outcome of the musical forum that has been held to spite the Eurovision 2009 contest in Moscow became known to the media just recently. It turned out to be rather interesting.

Kavkazski Uzel reports a mass fight at the Tbilisian hippodrome between the festival audience and the police, which resulted in several dozens of people being injured.


"Considering the protest actions, the police are doing well, however, 2 days ago I attended the festival organized by Saakashvili, - Tbilisi Open Air, - the Human Rights Representative in Tbilisi Soso Panuashvili reported to the informational agency. - There I witnessed the young people being beaten up by the police without any special reasons". According to Panuashvili, the policemen "were quieting" the 15-16-year-old teenagers playing rugby. "I can hardly find words to describe the monstrous way they were beaten. One of them was beaten by twenty policemen. It was a brutal scene. I cannot say anything as to their further detention".

Panuashvili also reported that the policemen beat even those who were trying to prevent their outrageous behaviour. "About 50 people were beaten up there. And the teenagers were just playing the ball, - he told. - To me, the policemen's brutality means that they are absolutely sure that no one is going to punish them. That is why they behave like that. When someone tried to take pictures of the incident or to record it on camera, the police snatched the cameras from them and broke them".

Meanwhile, there have been no official comments from the Georgian MIA so far. According to Kavkazski Uzel, the information on the incident has not yet been announced by the Georgian media, though the incident happened on May 17, at 9 o'clock in the evening.

Therefore, rather curious information was reported by the Izvestia newspaper. According to its sources, Mikhail Saakashvili, on his arrival at the Tbilisian hippodrome was barracked by the young audience. "A true mess started, - the witnesses say. - The noise was so high that the rockers team rehearsing onstage had to wind down its performance. Young people barracked Saakashvili, shouting "Resignation! Resignation!"

According to witnesses, people were throwing bottles and beer cans towards the president. Then, the Georgian leader's bodyguards took out their guns and quickly escorted Saakashvili to his armoured car. The most interesting thing was that the president's on-air speech before the young people was to be broadcasted by the Public television of Georgia. According to Izvestia, as soon as the public started to barrack Saakasvhili the air was cut and the audience had to watch commercials for 15 minutes. Nevertheless, the shocking shots leaked out into the Internet, having turned into the hot topic of discussions for the oppositional newspapers and forums.

Thus, a musical festival that was to be ideologically opposed to the international Eurovision 2009 contest held in Moscow and was to be free of any politics have produced enormous scandal. One cannot help remembering the words of one of its initiators, Anna Sikharulidze, who used to admire the Tbilisi Open Air - Alter/Vision contest. "Unlike Eurovision, the Georgian festival allows everyone to perform what they like and openly express their opinion", - Kavkazski Uzel quoted her laudation. -About 13 square meters are occupied by the people, it's full house! We are having about 30 thousand people here".

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