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People Disappear and then Reappear -17-Hour Arbitrary Detention in Adjara Main Department of the MIA

17.02.2011

Maka Malakmadze, Adjara

Police officers took Tamar Dolidze from home at 3:00 am on January 27. Seventeen hours later police officers released her. Meanwhile, family members had no idea where and why Dolidze was taken. The investigator dropped the criminal investigation against her because of a lack of evidence.

Tamar Dolidze from Batumi was locked in the building of the Main Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Adjara Autonomous Republic for 17 hours.

Tamar Dolidze: “Somebody knocked on the door at 3am; when I opened the door the strangers told me they were from the main department and asked me to follow them for 15 minutes. Of course they showed their documents to me. I said I could not leave little children alone but they ordered me to ask somebody to stay with them. They convinced me I did not have to worry about anything. They were asking me questions about my acquaintances. Nobody coerced or intimidated me; though I was extremely scared.”

Tamar Dolidze’s brother-in-law Bezhan Kakhidze is accused in the abduction of a taxi together with two other people. They were detained several days prior. The family assumes that Tamar Dolidze was locked in the Department in order to compel the detainees to confess to the crime.

The family was looking for Dolidze for 17 hours. The representative of the Public Defender and attorney, who also became involved in the case, were not informed or provided information on Dolidze’s whereabouts from the Adjara Main Department of the MIA.

Representative of the Public Defender of Georgia in Batumi Giorgi Charkviani said: “The family called me in the morning. We arrived at the Adjara Main Department of the MIA at about 11:30 am and they told us Tamar Dolidze was not in their office. We even checked the registration journals but nothing was recorded there. Afterwards, the family informed the police department about Tamar Dolidze’s disappearance. We continue the investigation of this incident.”

Last year, police officers had illegally locked an under-age Nika Buadze in the building of the Main Department. Later, he was judged and sentenced to 11-years-imprisonment. According to the investigation, Nika Buadze injured a police officer Malkhaz Gabaidze. Buadze’s case was already sent to Human Rights Court in Strasbourg.

Nana Andguladze is the attorney for both Tamar Dolidze and Nika Buadze.

Attorney Nana Andguladze: “Nobody has the right to take a person out of the home at night unless they are a suspect, the accused or sought-after– let alone to make a person leave under-age children alone and make their location unknown for several hours. The police illegally restricted her personal freedom. In addition, she was taken to the police department withouta record being entered in the registration journal – that is also a violation.”

The attorney recalled that she had called Gocha Jashi, the Deputy Head of the Adjara Main Department of the MIA who told her Tamar Dolidze was not in their office. The duty-office of the main police department also denied information about Dolidz’e presence in their office. Afterwards, they appealed to the police and requested that Tamar Dolidze be registered as a missing person.

“The main department even deceived the police officers. They knew Dolidze was in their office but they did not inform the district police station where Tamar Dolidze lives. The police officers interrogated the neighbor (Nino) who stayed with the children. Nino confirmed that police officers had taken Tamar Dolidze away.

Investigator Pridon Bolkvadze told the Human Rights Center: “We studied Tamar Dolidze’s case. The materials did not contain any signs of crime and we did not launch an investigation on this fact. Her freedom of movement was not restricted.”

On January 28, police officers returned Tamar Dolidze to her house. The district police station stopped the search for the ‘missing person’.

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