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Thousands in Georgia demonstrate for release of former president

Thousands of people demonstrated in Georgia for the release of detained former president Mikheil Saakashvili.

Thousands of people demonstrated in Georgia for the release of detained former president Mikheil Saakashvili.

Protesters marched through the centre of the capital Tbilisi on Thursday, shouting. “Freedom for Misha.”

The 53-year-old politician lived in Ukraine until recently. He was arrested in early October after returning home to Georgia after years in exile.

Saakashvili, who was president from 2008 to 2013, was wanted in Georgia on abuse of office charges.

Shortly after his arrest, Saakashvili’s opposition party, the United National Movement, landed in second place in local elections behind the ruling Georgian Dream party.

Political tensions have been high in the republic in the South Caucasus since parliamentary elections last year that prompted mass protests after the opposition accused the ruling Georgian Dream party of fixing the results. Several opposition lawmakers have boycotted the legislature.

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