SOCIETY
Night raid in Bassiani and Café Gallery – What happened at Georgia’s most popular clubs
12 May, 2018
Georgia’s most popular night clubs Bassiani and Café Gallery, the major venues of Tbilisi's night life, were raided by police and special forces last night, May 12.

As reported, the police entered the night clubs at around 1 am today. Several hundred clubbers gathered outside both locations, telling journalists that police officers used disproportionate measures against them. As the witnesses say, the raid caused massive panic among the clubbers. As noted, the special operation at Tbilisi top night clubs was
part of the government’s response to address the increasing drug-related deaths over the past two weeks.

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 8 drug dealers were detained in the Bassiani and Gallery night clubs last night.
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Special operation at Bassiani

"The Ministry of Internal Affairs had been conducting intensive operative-investigative activities for detecting drug trade in the Bassiani and Gallery night clubs for 3 months. On May 12, 2018, relevant investigative actions were conducted on the basis of a court order and 8 persons were detained," reads the statement.



The beginning of the special operation at Bassiani

20 persons are officially detained, but unofficial reports say the number of detainees is much higher.

Law enforcers detained Zurab Japaridze, leader of the Girchi party, at the rally outside the Parliament last night. He has been released after spending around three hours at police department.
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According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 8 drug dealers were detained in the Bassiani and Gallery night clubs last night

Bassiani posted a photo of the raid to its Instagram, with the caption, "Special forces have blocked BASSIANI, musicians trapped, the right becoming more radical. sos." The club is also updating its Facebook with news from the raid and protest.
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Bassiani posted a photo of the raid to its Instagram

The protest was triggered by the special operation carried out in the Bassiani and Gallery night clubs. Riot police was mobilized around the Parliament all night long. Public Defender Nino Lomjaria was also at the rally and called on protesters and law enforcers to obey the law.
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Clashes took place between protesters and police

Clashes took place between protesters and police at the rally outside the Parliament, where people protested against the special operations carried out in the Bassiani and Gallery night clubs last night.
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The protesters attempted to block a road, which was not allowed by the police

The protesters attempted to block a road, which was not allowed by the police. Several people were detained during the incident.

After the clashes, the protesters danced in front of the police.



The protesters danced in front of the police

Protesters also showed dissatisfaction when politicians Gia Baramidze and Roman Gotsiridze showed up, saying that politicians had nothing to do there.
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The protesters attempted to block a road

Public Defender Nino Lomjaria has talked with Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs about the special operations carried out in the Bassiani and Gallery night clubs last night. As she told journalists, she met with the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and also had communication with the Minister.
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Several people were detained during the incident

"I wondered why it was necessary to carry out a special operation in the club at the time when there were people. I also talked about the allegations made by citizens that excessive force was used. The subject of my interest was also to determine the location of the detainees. At this stage I got oral explanations.
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20 persons are officially detained, but unofficial reports say the number of detainees is much higher

According to them, the special operation was planned on the basis of a court order. They had materials, including videos showing that drugs were sold on the territory of the club. They said that all the policemen were equipped with video cameras during the special operation.
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According to movement White Noise, riot police were brutally beating peaceful citizens in the clubs

I want to tell every person who claims that he/she was ill-treated or witnessed excessive force that we will study each case. We were given a promise that we will have access to video footage", - Lomjaria noted.

The Public Defender called on the rally participants to peacefully express their protest and law enforcers to ensure the peaceful expression of citizens.
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About 60 people were detained in a special operation, movement White Noise said

The head of Night Economy Development Sergi Gvarjaladze evaluates the case as a decidedly bad event that is unacceptable to the country. “I don’t understand why the young people who came to the clubs to dance where put in a such situation”, Sergi Gvarjaladze, a popular musician, noted when he came at Café Gallery last night to study the case.
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“This fact shows the country in a negative way. Such situation won’t benefit anyone; moreover, it damages the country. Tbilisi night life and clubbing scene is the field the country has become famous for over last 5 years. I am sure that more than 90 percent of the attendees at the clubs are not pro-drugs, hence treating people at the dance venues in a such way is unacceptable. We should do our best to avoid any kind of provocation”, he added.

About 60 people were detained in a special operation in Tbilisi night clubs last night, the whereabouts of some of them is unknown, - the White Noise movement reports.

According to them, riot police were brutally beating peaceful citizens in the clubs.
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The peaceful protest is planned for today at 15:00 in front of the Parliament building, Rustaveli Avenue

"The government of Georgia raided night clubs through the riot police last night and abused civilians there. They arrested club owners and the citizens who gathered there to show support to the clubs. About 60 people were detained, the whereabouts of some of them is still unknown.

White Noise movement leader Beka Tsikarishvili, who was detained after the special operations carried out in the night clubs last night, has been released.
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The activists of the movement White Noise, the representatives of night clubs and the locals will express their protest against last night’s special operations

Members of the movement said that Beka Tsikarishvili was released but they do not know where he is at this time.

British citizen Maillo Traversi, arrested in special operation last night, has also been released. "The British citizen has already been released. He was at the Basiani club last night. Police was arresting people at random, "said lawyer Giorgi Makharadze.

Today, the special briefing was held at the Ministry of Internal Affairs regarding special operations carried out in night clubs. According to the Ministry, all individuals, detained under administrative procedure on charges of resistance and petty hooliganism against the police, have been released.

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World-famous DJ-S such as Ben Clock, Anthony Parasole, Etapp Kyle and Octave One expressed their support towards Georgia's most popular night clubs.

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The peaceful protest is planned for today at 15:00 in front of the Parliament building, Rustaveli Avenue. The activists of the movement White Noise, the representatives of night clubs and the locals will express their protest against last night’s special operations.
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Special forces in front of Bassiani

“We, the citizens of Georgia, are joining the officially declared open war to defend our most important value - freedom and our future,” reads the statement released by the movement White Noise.

One of the founders of night club Bassiani, Naja Orashvili,posted on her Facebook page that the police detained two founders of Bassiani - Tato Getaia and Zviad Gelbakhiani, and several visitors of the club.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia has recently released the video depicting the facts of selling the drugs at Tbilisi's night clubs.



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