Ten Georgian Opposition Protesters Jailed For Disobeying Police

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.

The activists were detained on November 18 as they were blocking the entrances of the parliament building while thousands of people protested 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."