TODAY.AZ / Politics

Leader of Georgian opposition movement gunned down in Tbilisi

21 May 2007 [10:32] - TODAY.AZ
The leader of a Georgian opposition movement, Guram Sharadze, was gunned down Sunday evening on a street in a central part of the capital, Tbilisi, the Interior Ministry said.

The ministry's press service did not give further details, but local television reports said the 67-year-old Sharadze was shot five times and died at the scene.

Sharadze, a professor of philology at Tbilisi University, was leader of the nationalist Faith, Fatherland and Language movement. Sharadze last year was a leader of protests against Western influences in Georgia, denouncing the civil society work of philanthropist George Soros as potentially more pernicious to Georgia than the Bolshevik Revolution.

In 2002, when he was a member of parliament, he spearheaded a drive to try to ban the Jehovah's Witness religious denomination from the country.

Sharadze was a close associate of Zviad Gamsakhurdia, the first president of post-Soviet Georgia, who was overthrown in a coup and who died in unclear circumstances in 1993 as he tried to lead an uprising against the government of President Eduard Shevardnadze.

The television station Rustavi-2 reported that a suspect had been arrested near the site of Sharadze's killing, but there was no immediate information on the possible motive. The Associated Press

/The International Herald Tribune/


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