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Murman Dumbadze: “They Were Kicking, Whipping Me and Beating With Clubs… They Stepped on My Finger-Nail with Heels…”

05.07.2011

Maka Malakmadze, Adjara

Murman Dumbadze returned to Adjara after 30-day administrative imprisonment. On May 26, the politician was detained and beaten in Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi and he is still taking medical treatment for his injuries. He said despite repressions he is not going to stop his political activities and keep blind eye on illegal facts.

Nowadays, Murman Dumbadze is not member of any political party. He is leader of the public organization “Serve Georgia”. In his interview with the Human Rights Center, he recalled his inhuman treatment at the police station. He said, on May 26, the activities of the riot police officers were neither dismissal nor dispersal of demonstrators. “The Rustaveli Avenue was red with blood – ponds were full of rain and blood. I have never seen such a terrible picture even in a horror film.”

“We saw that riot police was gathering in the area. They laid two sieges to demonstrators in Rustaveli Avenue. Riot police officers were standing in the first circle and military vehicles were standing behind them. So, if somebody could escape the riot police, they could hardly escape the military vehicles. The circle was getting narrower. Initially, they shot gas capsules which caused terrible smoke. Some of us fell down; the police officers with truncheons and shouting were moving towards those people, who were still standing, – it was psychological oppression. I do not remember how I got downstairs. I was caught in the jam near the tribune. I noticed the riot police made a skew corridor towards Rustaveli Cinema House and walked into the building.”

First Murman Dumbadze was injured in the Cinema House “Rustaveli”. He said the police officer broke his head with truncheon. “I was calling upon the people to keep calm. 15-20 minutes later, they threw gas capsules into the Cinema House hall. Then a big group of riot police officers entered the building. There were 200-300 people in the hall. I was sitting on a chair and had mask on my face. A riot police officer rushed towards me and removed my mask: “Aha, Dumbadze, I have recognized you! You thought we would not recognize you in mask?!”
Apparently, they were looking for me. One police officer was putting irons on my hands and the second was hitting truncheon in my head. He broke my head and I felt blood coming from the open wound. Then, they continued beating me: “move your legs,” “take your hand”, etc. They made me to lie down. A police officer came and said I was to be judged separately.”

Dumbadze also spoke about police officers: “They took me to Digomi police department by a black jeep. I saw many people in the hall of the police station; among them were several Batumi residents. Some of them were puffing – they felt bad; others had their heads broken and clothes torn… everybody was in blood. I was taken to the fifth or sixth floor. He supposedly was a high-ranking official because his room was well-designed and furnished. I was made to lie down and remained in the same position till 9:00 am. 2-3 police officers regularly was in the room and were beating me periodically: in ankles, ribs, legs, hands; they were kicking with legs, whipping and beating with clubs; once they stepped on my finger-nails with their heels. They did not touch my face; they were beating me only in the head because the bruises could have been hidden under the hair. I endured similar torture during 5-6 hours.”

Dumbadze still has injury on his left thumb. He said he was beaten in the presence of an elderly demonstrator in another room in the police building. “They took me to other room. A police officer in civil clothes was there and told me to sit down. He was asking the old man: “How can you make revolution?” Then, suddenly he turned to me and hit his leg in my face. I hit my head against the wall and started bleeding from the nose. I received this injury from that incident. Then, they turned me down, saying the blood could suffocate me. Then they dragged me to a bathroom and I spent 10 minutes under the shower in order to stop bleeding. Then they bandaged my nose.”

In similar conditions, Murman Dumbadze was taken to Tbilisi City Court. Judge Tea Tadashvili sentenced him to 30-day administrative imprisonment for the “violation of the law on assembly and manifestation and for the disobedience to lawful requirements of the police officer.” Judge Tadashvili gave only 20 minutes to the lawyer Medea Vasadze to arrive at the court. But, Murman Dumbadze said, the judge renewed the court proceeding without the lawyer only two minutes later.

Murman Dumbadze served his administrative imprisonment in Telavi temporary detention setting. “22 people were taken to Telavi by a very small car. There were no conditions there. We could not walk in the fresh air. We could go to toilets only according to their decision. There was neither soap, nor tooth-brush nor towels. However, nobody cursed and beat us there. Marekh Mgaloblishvili from the Georgian Young Lawyers Association visited us in the detention setting and spread information about us. Representatives of the Red Cross also visited me and as far as I know they requested the prison administration to take me to hospital because I felt really very bad. Anyway, nobody took me to hospital; though ambulance was coming to the custody every day and doctor used to examine me.”

Dumbadze said the police officers demanded him to curse Nino Burjanadze. “You must curse Nino Burjanadze… You must say that “Misha Is Cool”… if you agree, you will not be ruthlessly beaten; or maybe you will be.” It is shameful. Can police officers use similar methods? The police stations have glass walls but nobody knows what is happening inside the buildings.”

Dumbadze said hence, his president is the Constitution of Georgia. “I am going to act only in accordance to the Georgian Constitution. It is my president. Not a single governmental official will prevent me from implementing each article of the Constitution. Those, who will prevent me, I will categorically oppose him/her. Today, I am against Mikheil Saakashvili.”

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