The Georgian opposition delivered an ultimatum to the authorities demanding their three activists be released not later than 17:00 p.m. May 7. The activists were detained on charges of hooliganism. Opposition leader Koba Davitashvili said that the opposition movement would set the three people free itself in the event the authorities did not meet the requirement.
Members of the opposition conducted a meeting on Thursday night to discuss their plans. Mr. Davitashvili said that the opposition leaders would hold an emergency briefing on Thursday. The followers of the opposition movement will begin to gather in front of the building of the Georgian Parliament on May 7, 12:00 p.m., Itar-Tass reports.
Davitashvili added that the ultimatum to the government was still in effect. If the three opposition members are not released by 17:00 p.m., the movement will take its own actions to release them.
About 8,000 people gathered in front of the Georgian Parliament on Thursday night. The leaders urged people not to sleep but to take part in the meeting. Clashes with the police began after a well-known Georgian singer, Georgy Gachechiladze, and several members of the action attempted to climb over the fence of Tbilisi’s Police Headquarters.
The police officers - all dressed in plain clothes - showed resistance to the attempt. The opposition protesters started throwing sticks, stones and bottles at the police building, but the police defended themselves with batons.
Twenty-three people suffered various injuries as a result of the clashes. All of them have been hospitalized. Eyewitnesses say that the police used rubber bullets against the protesters to make them pull away from the entrance to the police headquarters.
Official spokespeople for Georgia’s Internal Affairs Ministry described the events with the participation of the Georgian opposition as an attempt to attack the police. Deputy Internal Affairs Minister Eka Zguladze said that it was a very dangerous incident, although the police was ordered to defend only the territory of the police headquarters.
It has just been reported that the three activists of the Georgian opposition movement have been released.