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Saakashvili's supporters celebrate 18th anniversary of Rose Revolution in downtown Tbilisi

TBILISI. Nov 23 (Interfax) – Supporters of former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili have formed a human chain standing hand in hand from Rustavi Avenue to Republic Square and Freedom Square in Tbilisi on Tuesday.

The event marked the 18th anniversary of the Rose Revolution, when Saakashvili and his supporters stormed the parliament and declared a change in power. Participants in the rally also demanded that Saakashvili be released from prison.

"After the Rose Revolution in 2003 we were proud of our country and its achievements, but everything was lost in the past nine years. The architect of this revolution is imprisoned today, what a shame. We will seek his release," Zaal Udumashvili, one of the leaders of the United National Movement party founded by Saakashvili, told journalists.

The police did not interfere with the rally.

Saakashvili, former Georgian president and currently a citizen of Ukraine, secretly arrived in Georgia on September 29 and was detained in Tbilisi on October 1 and put in jail in the city of Rustavi soon afterwards, where he declared a hunger strike. On November 8, he was transferred to the prison infirmary in Tbilisi’s Gldani district without the consent of his lawyers and family. On November 20, Saakashvili was transferred to a military hospital in Gori, where he stopped his hunger strike.

Saakashvili has been convicted in Georgia in absentia in several criminal cases and is being treated as a suspect in some others. He has described his detention as unlawful and the charges brought against him as falsified.