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Battle in Tbilisi far from a tragedy2009-05-08 14:58
Last night's scuffle between the police and opposition worked itself out. Three activists that had been detained a day before and who made protesters "assault" the patrol police HQ in Tbilisi are released. Opposition leaders wounded by rubber bullets and beaten policemen are undergoing treatment in hospital.
Georgian Ministry of Justice released three detainees involved in the beating of Nika Avaliani, a Public TV journalist. Melor Vachnadze, Giorgy Oniani and Revaz Revazishvili of November 7 movement are released but will stand trial, the official statement of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia reads.
The Interior Ministry easily agreed to meet the ultimatum for release of the prisoners after the fight near the Police HQ in the Tbilisian district of Digomi. It should be noted the authorities were against any aggravation of the internal political situation for the time of NATO exercises in Georgia. All the more Ilia II called for wisdom. "The Patriarchate believes the situation has become hazardous and calls on the authorities to take a political decision and release three opposition activists detained on a delinquency charge in order to dissipate the tension", - David Sharashenidze, official spokesman for Georgian Patriarchate told the journalists.
Storm of the police HQ was proposed by singer Georgy Gachechiladze (nicknamed Utsnobi meaning "unknown") who had been incarcerated in a cage-cell installed in a TV studio. He jumped over the fence with other opposition leaders rushing to him in an attempt to release the "offenders" of Avaliani, the First Channel observer. The law-enforcement officers used batons and according to some information started shooting rubber bullets. The oppositionists protected themselves with sticks and threw stones at the policemen according to the videos recorded by journalists. Some leaders were injured; Georgy Gachechiladze had his rib broken. According to the Interior Ministry's information 29 persons were taken to hospitals including 22 protesters, a journalist and 6 policemen. The opposition reports on 60 victims.
United Opposition leader Levan Gachechiladze, ex president of Car Federation of Georgia representing Nino Burdzhanadze's Democratic Movement - United Georgia Shalva Ogbaidze, Party of the Future leader Giya Maisashvili, ex chief of the Georgian Security Service Irakli Batiashvili and Zviad Dzidziguri, a Conservative are among them.