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Journalists Protest New Top-Secret Fairy-Tale of President Saakashvili


Mari Imerlishvili

“Mikheil Saakashvili wrote a new fairy-tale but now it is Top-Secret Fairy Tale. “He is Nero, but unlike the Emperor, Saakashvili is not composing music,” similar assessments were made in front of the MIA on July 11 where journalists held protest demonstration in support of the detained photo-reporters.

Georgian Journalistic Ethic Charter organized the protest demonstration; representatives of the media and non-governmental organizations attended the demonstration.

Chairman of the Ethic Charter Council Zviad Koridze clarified that they had four principal requests: “We request public and immediate meeting with the Minister of Interior; to remove the Top Secret status from the case materials; to allow the lawyers to break silence and to make the case materials public; to set up representative civil commission which will have access to the case materials.”

The participants of the demonstrations entered the MIA building with these requests. Their main purpose was to meet Vano Merabishvili but it was impossible. The MIA official said the Minister and his press-secretary were not in the city. The demonstration participants handed their application at the ministry chancellery, received the registration number and were promised the Minister will get in touch with them within several hours.

Every demonstrator, who was at the Ministry, condemned the detention of the photo-reporters. Part of journalists believes it is next badly-staged performance of the government which aims to overwhelm other, more important problem. Journalists think the oppression on the free media continues.

“Saakashvili is an inadequate person. According to the verified information, photo-reporters and minister of economic development Vera Kobalia, who was placed in the hospital with traumas, became victims of Saakashvili’s whims. He is Nero but unlike him Saakashvili does not compose music,” said Shalva Ramishvili, author of the TV-Program “Without Accreditation.”

Demonstration participants are sure that the main reason of the photo-reporters’ detention is the photos taken on May 26 when demonstrators were ruthlessly dispersed. The photos of the cruelty on May 26 were later published by the European PressPhoto Agency and Georgian magazine “Liberal.”

The demonstrators could not recall other precedents of the detention and accusation of the journalists. There is much suspicious in the Top Secret case that reinforces our arguments that the government punished the photo-reporters for the photos taken on May 26.

“Misha Saakashvili created a new Top Secret Fairy-Tale where many allegations contradict with each other: spies generally do not make bank money-transfers; secret drafts must not be shown on TV, etc,” said Mamuka Ghlonti from the TV-Company “Maestro”.

The demonstrators had different opinion about the secret video-recording published by the MIA; the editor-in-chief of the Resonance said it had neither journalistic nor legal importance – it is not a proof at all; “just the opposite – it is a poorly done job.”

“The evidence published by the MIA does not prove anything. It only convinced me that they have nothing against the detainees,” said Nino Jangirashvili of the TV-Company “Kavkasia”.

“It happens in the country where Burjanadze and Bitsadze were accused of espionage several times but they still continue peaceful life. I think, any person can become target and we can easily be the next. It is shameful and I feel shame as a citizen of this country,” said journalist Lali Moroshkina.

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