Protest Rally Demanding Interior Minister’s Resignation has Begun

A protest rally demanding the resignation of Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri is ongoing outside the Internal Affairs Ministry.

The participants insist that the Minister should be held responsible for the death of 15-year-old Luka Siradze, who attempted suicide after being questioned in the First Police Unit of Tbilisi’s Didube-Chughureti district on December 10-11, and passed away at Tbilisi’s Iashvili Children’s Hospital on December 17.

One of the activists, Misha Kumsishvili, says the public outcry concerns not merely the tragedy of one particular person, but that the entire juvenile justice system needs to be reconstructed. He claims the protestors will spare no efforts to fundamentally change the system; “by way of radical steps, if necessary.”

Luka Siradze was summoned to the police station for inflicting damage to the property of Mtsvane School in Tbilisi, accused of having spray-painted vulgar phrases on its walls. The police deny allegations of putting pressure on Luka, which might have led to his suicide attempt.

By Elene Dzebisashvili

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