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Newspaper Batumelebi Demands Investigation of the Illegal Detention of Batumelebi Correspondent

The newspaper Batumelebi demands that the Prosecutor’s Office investigates the fact of illegal detention of Natia Rokva, the correspondent of newspaper Batumelebi.

The newspaper informs that the representatives of Adjara Division of Special Operative Department of MIA detained Natia Rokva on January 23, 2009 when the journalist was shooting the special operation of SOD Adjara Division.

“I was sitting in a bus when I saw several men in masks throwing things from the balcony of the fourth floor of a house into the street. I got off the bus and started taking photos from the opposite side of the street,” wrote Natia Rokva in her article. The representatives of SOD came to her and asked politely to delete the photos. When she refused they used foul language and threatened she would be arrested.

The SOD representatives placed the journalist in a car against her will. The journalist claims that she managed to maintain the photos of SOD special operation and make an audio tape of her detention. “Hei, street is a public place unless a special operation is implemented,” “do not interfere; it is not your business. You have no right of it,” “I do not care that you are a journalist,” “I will lock you in a cell,” “law punishes journalists like you,” these are the quotes from the audio tape that were published in newspaper Batumelebi.

The journalist was arrested only for a short period of time.
Newspaper Batumelebi reminds the representatives of SOD that obstruction of journalists is punished with the Criminal Code of Georgia. A journalist has the right to work in any situation according to Georgian legislation.

“The prosecutor’s office of AAR has been investigating several cases of oppression of the journalists of newspaper Batumelebi since the Adjara Rose Revolution in 2004. The journalists were assaulted, obstructed during the implementation of their duties; their equipment was destroyed and so on. These cases are still under investigation. Newspaper Batumelebi applies to the prosecutor’s office with the request to investigate the case of unlawful detention of Journalist Natia Rokva,” states Batumelebi.

Source: media.ge

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