A protest in front of the Tbilisi police headquarters on June 15 was the scene of police brutality according to reports coming in. The protesters were demanding the release of six opposition activists that were detained on Friday.
The Interior Ministry said that the protesters blocked the main entrance to the headquarters and the road. They went on to say that the protesters resisted the police and that the police arrested protesters during the resistance.
"This is absolutely unacceptable," protest leader and former Saakashvili ally Nino Burjanadze said of the violence. "We demand a response from our Western partners, to give their assessment of the situation."
Eyewitnesses, including a Reuters photographer is disagreeing with that report. He says that the street was not blocked and that about 50 protesters were in a line along the sidewalk opposite a small street at the main entrance of the Tbilisi police headquarters. He said that his camera and other journalists cameras were taken. According to the source for the Financial Zurab Kurtsikidze, a photographer for European Pressphot Agency was beaten on his head and back.
Maestro TV and Kavkasia TV have both said that their crews at the scene were attacked. Neither station is airing their usual programming as a form of protest.
The Financial reports:
“In protest against violence against our journalists at the Tbilisi police headquarters today, Maestro TV and Kavkasia TV stop broadcasting,” a written statement which is aired on the both televisions instead of their usual programming reads.