25 June 2024,   07:05
Police detains 66 individuals at Anti-Foreign Agents Bill protest - MIA

The police had arrested 66 people for “petty hooliganism”, disobedience to law enforcement and throwing “Molotov cocktails and stones” at offices during a protest outside the Parliament building.

“The Ministry of Internal Affairs launched an investigation into the violent incidents that took place late on Tuesday [March 7] as the protests involved citizens and opposition protesting against the bill that involves registration of non-commercial legal entities and media outlets in the country as “agents of foreign influence” if they derive more than 20% of their income from abroad.

Appropriate legal assessment will be given to the actions of all persons who facilitated and organized the transformation of a peaceful protest into violent action.

The protest had gone beyond the scope established by the law on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and had taken a violent character.

Those gathered near the Parliament tried to block the entrances, but were prevented from doing so by police. Despite numerous calls for order from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, to protest in a peaceful manner [and] within the framework of the law, the participants of the rally continued their violent actions and did not obey the legal demands of the police officers.

Participants of the rally threw stones, inflammable means, blunt objects at law enforcement officers and assaulted police members. They had also damaged and set fire to police vehicles.

The police were forced to consistently use proportional force and special means of coercion provided by the Law of Georgia on Police in order to restore public order and prevent violations, following the appropriate warning.

Later, the demonstrators started an organised attack on the Parliament, throwing Molotov cocktails and pyrotechnics, including in the direction of law enforcement officers.

The demonstrators set fire to the building of the legislative body, broke windows and damaged the protective barriers, with about 50 employees of the Ministry injured in the incidents”, - reads the statement of the MIA.