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19 Jun, 2009 09:29

Georgia’s opposition members smashed in Tbilisi

Opposition protesters in Tbilisi are restoring a tent city and improvised cells near the President’s residencei, after they were destroyed by police and special forces on Thursday. Activists were reportedly beaten up.

"They beat me – punched me in the face, kicked me in the head and broke my arm," said one activist.

Activists say the attack was staged by “policemen in civilian clothes”. Opposition leaders claim that anti-government protesters have been attacked in different locations across the city over the past few days and they blame the authorities for the attacks.

“The authorities think they have won a victory over the opposition, but they should know that their accomplishments are only temporary, and that the opposition will go in with its actions,” Tass news agency quoted Nino Burdzhanadze, leader of the Democratic Movement – United Georgia party.

The protest rally in front of the Presidential residence, in the Avlabari district of Tbilisi, has been going on peacefully for two months now, and the actions taken by the authorities are unacceptable, said another opposition leader, Eka Beselia, from the For United Georgia party.

"Its another political attack – a cruel clamp down ordered by Saakashvili. He is probably missing being in his residence, he's been way for two month and probably felt uncomfortable about this," she said.

The opposition has already informed Georgia’s Protector of the Nation, Sozari Subari, said Beselia.

“What happened here is another example of unlawful police actions. When a gang rushes into a camp and beats innocent people, it is a violation of the law. You never call such peoplepolicemen, who defend order,” ombudsman said.

Representatives of the authorities deny any involvement in the incident near the Avlabari residence.