Accessibility links

Breaking News

Police In Tbilisi Detain 12 Protesters, Including Opposition Leader

Giorgi Vashadze (center), the leader of opposition New Georgia party, was among those arrested. (file photo)

TBILISI -- Police in Tbilisi have detained 12 protesters, including the leader of opposition New Georgia party, Giorgi Vashadze, after they tried to block the entrance to the parliament building.

The Interior Ministry said on December 12 that the protesters were detained for minor hooliganism and refusing to obey police orders.

Those detained were among dozens of activists who tried to block the legislature’s entrance to protest against the election of 19 candidates to the Supreme Court.

The protesters say the candidates are "rubber-stamp judges" controlled by the authorities.

For several weeks Tbilisi has been the scene of protests calling for reforms to the country’s electoral system, which opposition parties say unfairly favors the ruling Georgian Dream party.

The United States and the European Union have called on the government, political parties, and civil society to engage in a "calm and respectful dialogue."