Opposition politician Zurab Japaridze was assaulted
On 17 June, the political party “Girchi – more freedom” stated that their leader, Zurab Japaridze was assaulted. According to party member Ana Kurashvili, the incident occurred while they were en route to a summer camp, making a stop in Gori. While some members went into a store, Japaridze was alone in the car and became the target of an assault by an individual exhibiting erratic behaviour. The event unfolded rapidly, resulting in an injury to Japaridze in the eye area.
In response to the attack, Vato Shakarishvili, the leader of the pro-government movement “Ai Ia,” stated that a Georgian man approached Japaridze in Gori, requesting to lower the car window in order to relay a message. However, instead of a greeting, the man hit Japaridze in the mouth.
Shakarishvili linked this action to an insult towards the patriarch and the church, emphasising that the individual responsible continued on their way while Japaridze was left in a vulnerable state and had to return to Tbilisi.
Shakarishvili had previously served as a member of the Georgian Dream within the Tbilisi City Assembly from 2017 to 2021.
Subsequently, reports emerged stating that the attacker of Zurab Japaridze had been apprehended. Prior to the arrest, a citizen named Soso Maisuradze claimed responsibility for assaulting Japaridze.
On the same day, Shakarishvili and supporters of the government were involved in an attack against participants of a youth camp in Borjomi, where Japaridze intended to deliver a lecture. More than 50 supporters of the government engaged in acts of violence, including hurling stones and throwing red paint at the hotel.
The actions of the government supporters drew strong condemnation from the public defender, opposition leaders, and representatives of non-governmental organisations.
Physical confrontation at Tbilisi State University during Irakli Kobakhidze’s lecture
An altercation took place among young individuals at Tbilisi State University during a lecture delivered by Irakli Kobakhidze, the chairman of the ruling party. One of the participants in the incident recounted to journalists that their intention was to display protest posters during Kobakhidze’s lecture. However, several individuals confiscated their posters, subsequently resorting to physical violence. The young person recalled being subjected to assault by approximately 20 men, who forcefully pushed them down of stairs. The incident occurred at a time when security personnel were absent, only arriving on the scene after the assault had taken place. Footage circulated capturing the episode of physical confrontation and the subsequent descent down the stairs.
Feeling helpless due to being subjected to blows, kicks, and punches to the head, they were eventually taken to the hospital, where two individuals arrived, asking for the student’s personal data. When the student inquired about their identity and affiliation, the individuals hastily retreated. Notably, the individuals entered the hospital premises without using the main entrance, and the person carrying a firearm did not disclose his organisational affiliation.
The incident of an individual carrying a weapon within the Khechinashvili clinic prompted an investigation under Article 353 of the Criminal Code, which pertains to resisting, threatening, or using violence against a law enforcement officer. The individual in possession of the weapon was subsequently detained by patrolling officers. Media footage revealed that the person was dressed in civilian attire and carried the weapon openly, without a holster.
Georgian miners strike in Chiatura
Protests have unfolded in Chiatura, with miners demanding a 40% wage increase and improvements in working conditions. According to reports from Netgazeti, employees are advocating for payment based on the volume of extracted raw materials.
Additionally, workers in the Chiatura mine are pressing for labour safety protection, equipment and uniform upgrades, ventilation improvements in the trenches, changes to the insurance provider, termination of pension savings programs, utilisation of vacation time and the resolution of ecological issues within the city.
In response to employee demands, “Georgian Manganese” has cited a crisis in the ferroalloys market, asserting that the company has not exported its products this year. The company claims to compensate its workers using loans obtained from banks. Due to decreased demand and low prices for ferroalloys in the international market, the implementation of a revised work schedule is reportedly under consideration.
On 15 June, Public Defender Levan Ioseliani visited the striking miners to engage in dialogue. He introduced himself to the participants of the rally, expressing readiness to support mediation efforts aimed at improving their conditions while also considering the interests of the employer. Ioseliani assured the participants that he would maintain communication with their mediator to ascertain the progress of ongoing negotiations. He emphasised the need for mutual compromise, ensuring that both the employees’ demands and the employer’s interests are taken into account to reach a satisfactory resolution to the current situation.