Tbilisi, Georgia–Georgian police beat down and arrested opposition activists in the nation’s capital today. Several journalists were among those arrested.For two months, the opposition has been campaigning to force out President Mikhail Saakashvili. An AP photographer witnessed masked officers beating demonstrators who gathered near the police headquarters. Several were severely beaten into submission along with several TV journalists and camera crews whose tapes and video cameras were confiscated.
In all, 39 protesters were rounded up, according to Deputy Interior Minister Eka Zguladze, who said they had resisted police when they tried to arrest them for blocking a public street.
She apologized to journalists who were beaten and robbed, saying it was “our mistake.”
Existing on a key energy route, Georgia is the iconic front line in the growing tensions between Russia and the West.