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Georgians Use Car Horns To Protest Police Violence


http://gdb.rferl.org/2FB7B23E-B270-4438-8AA9-708B07FA2A27_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/2FB7B23E-B270-4438-8AA9-708B07FA2A27_mw800_mh600.jpg Vasili Sanodze, head of the Interior Ministry General Inspectorate, has been suspended over the murder scandal (file photo) (InterPressNews) 16 March 2006 -- Hundreds of Georgian drivers demonstrated against police violence in the capital of Tbilisi today.

For about 30 minutes, they honked their horns as they drove along Rustaveli Avenue and other main streets of the city.

Similar, smaller protests took place in Batumi and Kutaisi.


The protest was called by Georgia's main opposition parties over the January 28 assassination of a bank employee.


The victim, 27-year-old Sandro Girgvliani, was killed after a dispute that involved a number of high-ranking Interior Ministry officers. Four of them have been dismissed and another two suspended pending the completion of the investigation.


Civic campaigners and opposition leaders demand that Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili -- who is a close ally of President Mikheil Saakashvili -- endorse responsibility for the murder and step down.


Saakashvili today said protests were "usual" in a democratic country and said he would not dismiss Merabishvili, whom he described as Georgia's most efficient police chief ever.


(Imedi TV, Novosti-Gruziya)

Human Rights In Georgia

Georgia's police have been accused of using excessive force (official site)


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'CULTURE OF IMPUNITY':Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's government has had a checkered human rights record since it came to power after the 2003 Rose Revolution. The international community has welcomed the steps taken by the new Georgian leaders to refine the legal mechanisms needed to combat rights abuses. But it also blames the government for failing to ensure those mechanisms are properly implemented....(more)


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