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Silent Protest of NGOs in front of Parliament Building

03.06.2011

Sopo Getsadze

On June 1st at 11:30 pm, the NGOs gathered in front of the Parliament building and protested against the violence carried out by the government at 00:15 of May 26th. The action was entitled – 00:15. The participants lit the candles in front of the Parliament and honored the victims.

No political statements were made during the silent protest. “This action is absolutely free of the political background and everything that is connected to politics. The only goal of our gathering is to once again protest against the violence,” – stated the head of Georgian Young Lawyers Association Tamar Chugoshvili.

The action protested not only against the events of May 26th but condemned the subsequent developments as well.

The executive director of the Human Rights Center Ucha Nanuashvili notes that the government dismantled the May 26th protest rally by the use of excessive force and the civil society protests against it: “We would also like to express protest against the events that took place after the May 26th. Tens of people have disappeared during this week. People do not know where their relatives are and what will happen next.”

Jaba Jishkariani, Movement November 7: “We are not going to forgive the government any type of violence. We are not going to be silent, because silence means obedience and complicity in the crime.”

Eka Beselia, Solidarity to Illegal Prisoners: “We would like to draw the attention of the international community. If people are not together, it is impossible to overcome the undemocratic regime.”

Nana Kakabadze, Former Political Prisoners for Human Rights: “Today’s silent action is dedicated to the memory of the people who died here. They sacrificed their lives for democratic processes in Georgia.”

Nazi Janezashvili, Article 42 of Constitution: “The goal of today’s action is to protest against what happened in Tbilisi on May 26th. Today civil society represented by the human rights organizations expresses its protest against the actions that took place on that night.”

Zakaria Kutsnashvili, Lawyer: “The civil society shows the Georgian and international public that we will not put up with this crime. We are requesting the investigation of this crime and punishment of offenders.”

The human rights organizations made an initiative of declaring Rustaveli Avenue as an anti-violence zone. The organizations are going to compose the declaration. As the representative of Multinational Georgia Arnold Stepaniani states the NGOs will invite all leaders of political parties and offer them to sign the declaration not to use violent methods in the political fight.

The representatives of NGOs lit the candles in front of the Parliament and honored the victims. The photos reflecting the May 26th violence were presented at the silent action. Approximately 25 NGOs took part in the action, including Georgian Young Lawyers Association, Human Rights Center, Article 42 of Constitution, Public Defender, Civil Movement Multinational Georgia, Union 21st Century, Center for Constitutional Rights, International Center of Conflict and Negotiation, Caucasus Women’s Network, Human Rights Priority, Former Political Prisoners for Human Rights, National Network against Violence, International Society for Just Elections and Democracy, Transparency International Georgia, Psychosocial and Medical Rehabilitation Center for the Victims of Torture and others.

The dispersal of the Public Assembly organized protest action started at 00:15 am of May 26th.  
The NGOs symbolically gathered in a week after the raid.


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