Animal rights activists detained after demanding “freedom for dolphins”

Six men are facing charges of “battery and other violence” after they allegedly broke into a dolphin aquarium, got into a brawl with security guards and demanded the mammals be set free in Georgia’s Black Sea coastal city Batumi, reports.

Batumi Dolphinarium’s Public Relations manager Berdia Kutubidze said the men forcefully reached the area only meant for staff and obstructed the working process earlier last night.

The men claimed the dolphins were “locked in prison” and they needed to be released.

Kutubidze told journalists the “offenders” also used tear gas against the security guards.

Head of the Georgian Society for the Protection and Safety of Animals, Temur Lachkepiani, said he and nine other animal rights defenders from different countries were protesting against the imprisonment of animals when they were “beaten by security guards”.

Lachkepiani also said one of the activists had pepper spray for “self-defence” purposes only.

He said the activists were from different countries including Georgia, Belarus, Turkey, Russia and Iran.

The Dolphinarium Administration said several visitors including minors, were frightened and “stressed” following the aggression from the “vandals”.

Georgia’s Interior Ministry said an investigation has been launched into the case.

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