The Georgian State Security Service claimed “top managerial representatives” from the Belgrade-based Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies had been invited to Georgia by the USAID programme a week ago to “train domestic civil groups and individuals for a planned unrest” in Tbilisi this autumn.
Who arrived in Georgia at the invitation of USAID?
The agency said Sinisa Sikman, Jelena Stojsic and Slobodan Djinovic from Canvas - an NGO founded in 2005 in Serbia to “advocate for the use of nonviolent resistance”, had arrived in Tbilisi on September 25 with the stated goal to “train culture sector representatives” in "strategic, non-violent struggle".
Why did Serbian citizens come to Georgia?
The “genuine reason” of the visit was to train Georgian organisations and individuals for the “planned protests and unrest” this autumn, the agency said, adding a “large group” had been trained in a Tbilisi-based hotel between September 26-29.
The body also noted the participants had been trained in “acting against target groups”, namely the government, the Orthodox Church, the State Security Service and other agencies, as well the “techniques of blocking buildings and creating artificial traffic jams”, and setting up tents in front of administrative buildings.
The training also involved “creating tensions in the law enforcement structures” and alleged violence towards police, as well as financial matters related to protests, the agency added.
What happened to the Serbian nationals?
The SSS claimed the invited facilitators were interviewed at the agency around the purpose of their work on September 29 where they denied the allegations before departing on the following day.
"They were actively teaching methods of creating emotional conditions for protest and tactics of conducting violent actions. Sikman and Djinovic were former members of Otpor organisation”, the statement reads.