Georgian sailors join the anti-occupational rally from sea
28 June, 2019
13 Georgian sailors have joined an anti-occupational rally from an open sea near Malta. They published a photo of them covering an eye with their hands and holding placards with the inscriptions “Don’t make me Blind” and “Russia is an occupier”. The sailors are on VEMAOIL XXIII, a Chemical Tanker built in 1994 and currently sailing under the flag of Malta.

“We, sailors, express our position on the occupation. We are not able to be there where our people stand. We
do not want our solidarity and position to be discussed in a political context. We are apolitical. We just protest against the occupation as half of the country does.”
Peaceful demonstrations against the occupation have been taking place in front of the Parliament building since 20th of June. The protesters demand the resignation of Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia, the release of people detained on the 20th of June and the conduct of proportional elections in 2020. The government agreed to two demands but refuses to remove Gakharia from his post. According to the organizers, the demonstrations will continue unless all their demands are responded.

The events taking place June 20-21 in Georgia

Angered by the presence of Sergei Gavrilov in Georgia, the citizens gathered at the Parliament building in Tbilisi to protest Russian occupation in Georgia on the 20th of June. Sergei Gavrilov, a deputy of the Russian Duma from the Communist Party was leading the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy at that time. When a photo of him sitting in the Chairman’s chair in the Parliament of Georgia on the 20th of June was spread, opposition parties, as well as ordinary citizens, called on the authorities to take proper measures.

The assembly was canceled and Sergei Gavrilov left Georgia but the demonstrations against Russian occupation continued. Protesters demanded the resignation of the Chairperson of the Parliament Irakli Kobakhidze. During the demonstration on the 20th of June, a small group of protesters was said to be encouraged by a number of opposition leaders to storm the Parliament building. Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon to stop protesters entering the country’s parliament. Dozens of Injured police officers, civilians and journalists were taken to the hospital. Two civilians had to undergo enucleation procedure. Law enforcers detained a number of demonstrators. On the 21st of June, Irakli Kobakhidze resigned.

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