Tue, 10 Dec 2019

TBILISI -- A Georgian court has sentenced 10 opposition demonstrators to between four to 13 days in prison on charges of disobeying law enforcement officers during an anti-government protest earlier this week.

Twenty-five other protesters are awaiting verdicts later on November 21 from the Tbilisi City Court.

They were among thousands of demonstrators who gathered outside the parliament building on November 18 to demand snap polls after lawmakers failed to enact promised electoral reforms.

Groups of activists on November 21 symbolically tried to lock the entrances to the court and government buildings with padlocks.

Opposition parties say Georgia's electoral system unfairly favors the ruling Georgian Dream party.

Changing it to a proportional one from 2020 was one of the demands of thousands of demonstrators who rallied for weeks in Tbilisi in June and July.

The Georgian Dream party, including its billionaire founder and leader Bidzina Ivanishvili, backed the reform, but the constitutional amendments still failed to pass in parliament on November 14.

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

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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