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Georgian foreign agent law protester’s father self-harms in court

15 December 2023
Beka Grigoriadis protesting outside the parliament in Georgia in July 2023. Photo: Mariam Nikuradze/OC Media.

The father of Georgian foreign agent law protester Lazare Grigoriadis, who is on trial for allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail, has cut open his stomach in court.

Beka Grigoriadis was standing trial over a physical altercation with a security guard at a restaurant in Tbilisi, for which he was remanded to eight days in detention. Grigoriadis maintained the government targeted him with ‘provocations’ to stop him from supporting his son.

Footage apparently filmed by his brother, Kakhi Grigoriadis from court on Friday shows Beka Grigoriadis stand up to reveal several long horizontal cuts on his stomach after he was found guilty.

‘I’ll let you drink my blood! […] I’ve warned you not to play with me, you bitches!’, Grigoriadis is heard saying in the video as attendees and police rush to him.

Khaki and others present at the session were instructed to leave the courtroom afterwards.

Beka Grigoriadis’s lawyer, Lasha Shukakidze, wrote on Facebook that he ‘cut his stomach during the announcement of the verdict as a sign of protest’.

‘His condition is quite serious’, wrote Shukakidze.

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It was not immediately made clear what Grigoriadis used to injure himself or how he was able to take it into the courtroom. 

Grigoriadis has been taking part in anti-government protests as well as conducting sit-ins outside parliament since the arrest of his son, Lazare Grigoriadis, on charges of attacking police during the March foreign agents law protests.

He and his brother were detained on 5 October while protesting the ruling Georgian Dream party’s rushed amendments to curb ‘temporary constructions’ in street demonstrations.

The law, which passed on the same day, prohibits protesters from setting up tents during protests, something Grigoriadis was detained for twice in Tbilisi before the amendments were passed.

[Read more on OC Media: Georgian Dream pass new anti-protest amendments

Grigoriadis previously resorted to self-harm to protest his son’s arrest, having sewn his eye and lips shut in June to demand his son’s release.

On Thursday, Grigoriadis announced that he would unstitch his eye and lips on social media.

‘Lazare, my son, I reopened my eye and mouth, not because I couldn’t endure it anymore… No, my son, the situation is getting tense here, and I have to be in shape. I’ll do the impossible for you, and everyone will see this’, Grigoriadis, who often addresses his jailed son on his social media account, wrote on 14 December. 

On Friday, before going to court, Grigoriadis vowed on social media that his hearing would be ‘very interesting’, adding that there was a need for a ‘different kind of fight’ to wage instead of ‘holding [protest] posters’.