MOSCOW — Georgia’s Interior Ministry reported the discovery of two bodies on a roof near the site of the past week’s antigovernment demonstrations, and said that the police were studying whether the deaths could have been related to the protests.
Georgian riot police grappled with demonstrators on Thursday in Tbilisi, the capital.
The ministry said the bodies were found on Friday atop a store near a subway station. The preliminary cause of death was said to be electrocution, possibly from touching an electric cable, officials said.
The deaths of two people had already been attributed to the protests — a policeman and a demonstrator who were hit by vehicles leaving the scene as demonstrators scattered under pressure from the police.
A group of several thousand demonstrators gathered Saturday to protest the use of force against protesters. The State Department and Britain’s minister for European affairs have both called on Georgia to investigate the violence.
“I was saddened to hear of violence on the streets of Tbilisi,” David Lidington , the British minister, said in a statement. “Whilst there is a place for legal protest and demonstrations in any democracy, there can be no place for violence.” President Mikheil Saakashvili has said that he believes that the protesters were backed by Russia and that they provoked the violence.
Amnesty said that during a May 26 demonstration Georgian police clubbed unarmed and peaceful demonstrators and fired rubber bullets and tear gas at bystanders and journalists. Some 90 people have been detained.
An OSCE statement says at least 10 reporters were verbally and physically abused by police officers. Some were detained for questioning; others had their press cards taken away, and their equipment damaged or confiscated.
In a letter to Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatovic, said: "The fact that the police would abuse, detain and question reporters engaged in their professional duties is worrisome."
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said on May 26 that the demonstrators were possibly financed by Russia and had aimed to destabilize the country.
The British government also called on Georgian authorities to investigate the violence.