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Friday, July 01, 2005


Opposition protests in Tbilisi

From Reuters AlertNet:

Around 1,000 protesters gathered in the centre of the Georgian capital Tbilisi late on Thursday, accusing authorities of being undemocratic.

The demonstration was sparked by police earlier dispersing a 50-strong crowd of relatives and friends of two international judo competitors who were charged with blackmail two days ago.

Dozens of people were arrested and some had been injured.

Some demonstrators were denouncing President Mikhail Saakashvili, who came to power in the ex-Soviet state after a so-called "Rose revolution" in late 2003.

"Misha is Lukashenko!" shouted Bachuky Kardava, leader of the opposition National Democratic Party, likening Saakashvili to Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko, branded Europe's last dictator by Washington.

Georgian television channels were showing blanket coverage of the protest.

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