Protesters arrested in clashes with police outside Georgian Railway HQ

25 August 2017

Ten people were arrested on 24 August at a solidarity rally in Tbilisi for striking Georgian Railway workers. Tbilisi City Court will decide on 8 September whether to fine them.

Protesters have been attempting since 15 August to set up tents outside the state-owned Georgian Railway company’s headquarters, but police have prevented them from doing so.

An attempt by protesters to enter the headquarters in the evening of 24 August ended with clashes between protesters and police.

Irakli Kupradze and Tsotne Tskhvediani, members of left-wing student group Auditorium 115, and Giorgi Diasamidze, a trade unionist, were the first to be arrested.

Police kept them inside the headquarters but Kupradze managed to inform his friends that he needed medical attention, after which a number of doctors entered the building to help.

When police brought the three out of the building, clashes again erupted between demonstrators and police, and seven more activists were arrested.

According to human rights lawyer Nona Kurdovanidze from the Georgian Young Lawyers Association, two of her clients sustained physical injuries.


Levan Lortkipanidze, spokesperson for Auditorium 115, claims that police used unnecessary force. The Tbilisi-based Human Rights Education and Monitoring Centre supported the claim, writing that police used excessive force, and that they’re planning to address the Prosecutor’s Office to address the incident.

A number of protesters are continuing a hunger strike which began 10 days ago on 15 August. The protests were triggered by Georgian Railway’s decision to move the jobs of several employees without offering them reimbursement for travel to the new location or accommodation. Protesters claim their salaries aren’t high enough to cover these additional costs.

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