Friday, April 15, 2011

Jeers for Georgian MPs

On Saturday, 9 April, crowds gathered outside the Parliament building in Tbilisi to mark the anniversary of the 1989 massacre by Soviet troops of 20 hunger strikers (above). Times have changed, but despite the Rose Revolution of 2003, which ended the corrupt regime of Eduard Shevardnadze, opposition party members and supporters still face threats and intimidation. In October three opposition party leaders were arrested and charged with fraud and possession of weapons, charges they strongly deny. This was followed by the shooting of the son and daughter-in-law of Georgian Party activist Amiran Iobashvili. Iobashvili himself was beaten up outside his home by unknown assailants shortly after the May 2008 parliamentary elections.

At the rally, a group of MPs was greeted with jeers and whistles. In stark contrast, the venerable Ilia II, Catholicos Patriarch of All Georgia, was mobbed as he attempted to reach the ‘martyrs’ memorial’ (below). More pictures here.

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