NDI: 68% of Respondents Think Government Used Excessive Force on June 20

68% of the respondents believe the government used excessive force against protesters during the dispersal of a rally in Tbilisi on June 20-21, the results of the public opinion survey conducted by the US National Democratic Institute (NDI) show.

22% of the interviewed respondents believe that the force used against the protesters was “relevant,” 4% disagree with both opinions, while 4% dochose not to answer.

The NDI survey was conducted on July 13-29 and a total of 2132 people were interviewed. The average margin of error is 1.7%.

Protests on Rustaveli Avenue started on June 20 in reaction to the visit of three Russian MPs to Georgia within the framework of a session of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy held at the Parliament building, mostly due to the fact that Russian MP Sergei Gavrilov sat in the parliamentary Speaker’s chair, speaking in Russian, which many Georgians saw as the unwelcome reminder of the Russian occupation of the country's breakaway regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia). 

The protest turned into clashes with police after protesters tried to enter the parliament building. 

The so-called Gavrilov Night protest was dispersed by riot police with the use of tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon. 240 individuals, including 32 journalists and 80 law enforcers, were injured during a clash on Rustaveli Avenue on June 20-21. 

By Ana Dumbadze 

19 September 2019 14:30
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