Employees of the relevant structural units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs were mobilized on March 8 near the legislative body and on Rustaveli Avenue, in order to protect public order and ensure the peaceful conduct of the manifestation, MIA reports.
"The protest went on peacefully for several hours.
Later, one of the rally participants, during his speech, called on the gathered people to picket the legislative body, followed by massive blocking of the entrances to the parliament by the rally participants and picketing the building. During the rally, police forces were stationed in the parliament building to prevent verbal and physical altercations with the rally participants.
Despite the warnings of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the rally participants went beyond the norms established by the law on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, ignoring lawful demands of the law enforcement officers. The gathered protesters behaved aggressively and damaged the protective barriers placed along the legislative body building, entrance doors, smashed the building's windows, threw stones, various objects and pyrotechnics into the parliament building and inner yard, which may have resulted in serious consequences.
Forms of protest of the participants of the rally near the parliament building and on Rustaveli Avenue gradually became extremely violent.
The police forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs applied respective coercive measures and special means provided by the Law of Georgia "On Police" in order to maintain order and prevent violent and aggressive actions of lawbreakers.
The police tried to defuse the tense situation multiple times - they removed the aggressive persons from the territory surrounding the parliament and called on rally participants to disperse peacefully, however, they continued their violent actions and did not follow the legal demands of the law enforcement officers. The people gathered on Rustaveli Avenue started throwing the so-called “Molotov cocktails”, stones, wooden poles and other objects in the direction of law enforcers. Participants of the rally damaged, overturned and set fire to several vehicles belonging to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, damaged a bus of the Special Tasks Department, a fire truck, buildings facades located on Rustaveli Avenue, and smashed shop windows. Those who gathered on Rustaveli Avenue also damaged material property owned by Tbilisi City Hall services, among others, they set fire to bins standing in the street, broke benches and public transport waiting spaces.
Participants of the rally violated the public order and the rule of law throughout the night at different locations and offered resistance to the police officers.
As a result of the violent actions of the protestors, up to 10 employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs received injuries of various degrees. Citizens were injured as well.
The law enforcement officers arrested 66 people in accordance with Articles 166 and 173 of the Code of Administrative Offenses on the facts of petty hooliganism and disobedience to the legal demand of the law enforcement officer.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs has launched an investigation in connection with the violations and violent incidents that occurred throughout the protest rally near the Parliament under Articles 353 and 187 of the Criminal Code of Georgia.
Investigative activities are being carried out in order to identify and detain those who attacked the police and to expose other violent acts during the manifestation in the area surrounding the parliament building and on Rustaveli Avenue.
The employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as a result of operational measures and investigative activities carried out on March 7-8 of the current year detained 133 individuals on the facts of violations that occurred during the manifestation held near the Parliament, in particular - on the fact of the attack on the police officer one person was detained under Article 353 (I) of the Criminal Code of Georgia, while 133 individuals were taken under arrest in accordance with the Code of Administrative Offenses, Articles 166 and 173," reads the statement.