Court Sends Nine to Pre-trial Detention over Batumi Developments
BATUMI, Georgia – A Batumi City Court judge has ordered pre-trial detention of nine individuals, accused of participating in hooliganism, resisting the police, and assaulting an officer during the March 11-12 riot in Batumi. At present, 15 people are in pre-trial detention over the case. They will stay in custody until the investigation is over. The relatives of the detained disapprove of the court decision. They plan to hold protests and demand the release of the detained individuals.
The confrontation between Batumi locals and law enforcement started on March 11, when a man and his companion refused to accept a fine for parking in the wrong location. When the police arrested six people for resistance, this led to a larger protest of hundreds of locals, who gathered at the police department and demanded the release of those arrested and the resignation of the head of police. The situation escalated, and the rioters began throwing stones, damaging cars, and setting fire to nearby vehicles. The police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. A total of 33 people required medical attention; 15 of them were members of law enforcement. The investigation into the case is underway.
by Thea Morrison
Photo source: sknews.ge