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Two Confirmed Dead in Georgia Protest Rally

A 54-year old man died last night after the police started to disperse protesters outside parliament, a Georgian Interior Ministry official said early today, reports Civil.ge.

Shota Utiashvili, head of the ministry’s information and analytical department, said that investigation of crime scene and nature of sustained injuries indicated that the man was “presumably” killed by a car from the same convoy that also killed one police officer.

That officer’s name was Vladimir Masurashvili, while this man, reportedly a former police officer, was Nodar Tskhadadze.

The Interior Ministry said earlier that Masurashvili died after being struck by a car from a convoy carrying some of the protest leaders; police said that the convoy left the protest venue at a high speed after the riot police started dispersing the rally shortly after midnight.

Utiashvili said, Tskhadadze sustained injuries at the same location where Masurashvili died: on Freedom Square, about 300 meters from the parliament building where protesters were rallying.

“So there are two deaths. As of now 37 people remain in hospital, including eight police officers, 28 civilians and one journalist from itv.ge to whom we apologize like we do with others,” Utiashvili said.