Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

https://www.rferl.org/

Dozens Of Georgian Demonstrators Arrested As Saakashvili Goes On Trial.

TBILISI -- Police in Tbilisi have arrested dozens of protesters demanding the release of jailed former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, as his trial in a case related to the dispersal of a 2007 opposition rally kicked off in Georgia's capital.
The opposition leader, who served as president between 2004 and 2013, has been on hunger strike for 41 days. He was detained on October 1 upon his return from eight years in self-exile to campaign for the opposition ahead of local elections, exacerbating a political crisis that began after last year's parliamentary polls that the opposition denounced as fraudulent. Hundreds of Saakashvili supporters on November 10 rallied outside government buildings and in front of the courtroom where his trial started without the presence of the accused. The Interior Ministry said police had detained 46 people, who were charged with administrative offenses.
Those detained "exceeded the legal limits to freedom of assembly and attempted to blockade administrative buildings," the ministry said. Georgia's penitentiary service decided not to bring Saakashvili from detention to the Tbilisi City Court, citing coronavirus precautions and his poor health. It also argued that the presence of the accused at the trial "may provoke disorders."
His co-defendant, former Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava, was ordered to leave the courtroom after he demanded Saakashvili's presence at the trial. Saakashvili's lawyers also demanded their client be brought to court and filed a motion to recuse the judge, after which the trial was adjourned until November 29. Saakashvili denies any role in the violent dispersal of protesters in Tbilisi in November 2007. Earlier this week, Saakashvili was moved from a prison in the city of Rustavi to the Gldani prison clinic, where he claimed he was verbally and physically abused by guards.

He said in a letter released through his lawyer that they punched him in the neck and dragged him by his hair on the ground.
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price on November 9 urged the Georgian government to treat Saakashvili "fairly and with dignity." Georgia's rights ombudswoman, Nino Lomjaria, said Saakashvili had been "under psychological pressure" in custody. Saakashvili left the country shortly after the presidential election of 2013 and was convicted in absentia in 2018 for abuse of power and seeking to cover up evidence about the beating of an opposition member of parliament. He has rejected the charges as politically motivated. Saakashvili's United National Movement (ENM) party was outpolled decisively by the ruling Georgian Dream party in the October 3 nationwide municipal and mayoral vote. The opposition has claimed that Georgian Dream, which won mayoral races in the country's five biggest cities as a result of the vote, rigged the election.

Related news
EU, U.S, Key Western Allies Expand Sanctions On Belarus Regime

EU, U.S, Key Western Allies Expand Sanctions On Belarus Regime

The European Union, the United States, and key Western allies have further expanded their sanctions against Belarus's political and economic elite over alleged antidemocratic behavior, rights violations, and the exploitation of migrants by strongm...

Radio Free Europe

Sudan Protests Continue After Post-Coup Deal

Sudan Protests Continue After Post-Coup Deal

Protesters rallied in Sudan’s capital of Khartoum on Tuesday against last month’s military takeover and a recent deal that saw the former prime minister reinstated. After international condemnation and mass protests, military leader Abdel Fattah a...

NIH Director warns against 'premature' conclusion that omicron will be mild.

NIH Director warns against 'premature' conclusion that omicron will be mild.

Dr. Francis Collins explains why it will take two weeks to know how serious the omicron variant will be. #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing n...

UK COVID-19: Sajid Javid tells ALL adults 'get booster or risk Christmas'.

UK COVID-19: Sajid Javid tells ALL adults 'get booster or risk Christmas'.

Coronavirus latest: HEALTH Secretary Sajid Javid today urged ALL UK adults to: "Get Booster jab, or risk Christmas," as government rolls out Omicron battle plan. Boris Johnson addressed the Nation this evening along with the Secretary of State and...

Why are more people dying at the US-Mexican border? - DW News.

Why are more people dying at the US-Mexican border? - DW News.

US authorities have seen a sharp increase in the number of migrants at the Mexican border. Many attempt the treacherous journey through the Texas brush with the help of traffickers. Not everyone makes it. DW's Kate Brady reports from Brooks County...

Live: Biden delivers remarks on the bipartisan infrastructure law.

Live: Biden delivers remarks on the bipartisan infrastructure law.

President Biden delivers remarks on how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will deliver for the American people, create good-paying union jobs, and lower prices by improving the infrastructure for our supply chains. #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! ...

Jeffrey Epstein's Former Pilot Testifies That He Remembers Specific Alleged Victims.

Jeffrey Epstein's Former Pilot Testifies That He Remembers Specific Alleged Victims.

In the first full day of testimony in the Ghislaine Maxwell trial, the jury heard from Jeffrey Epstein's former pilot, Larry Visoski, who said he remembers flying specific women who have accused Ghislaine Maxwell of sex trafficking. » Subscribe to...

1 120