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Journalists Suffered from Incident in Mereti

Journalists also suffered in the 26 June fight in the village of Mereti.  According to the 9th Channel journalist Nodar Skhirtladze his cameraman and he himself have been aggressively attacked and hit by unidentified persons.

“Our crew was attacked. They punched my cameraman several times; they hit me also.  They demanded us to go away and not to film them.  Locals told us those were former sportsmen; residents of Ditsi village. Local inhabitants and Georgian Dream members told us this informaiton,” Nodar Skhirtladze said.

Vehicle of the news agency Info 9 was also damaged during the clash - Info 9 journalist Shorena Gogoladze told media.ge.

26 June Bidzina Ivanishvili and Irakli Alasania visited Mereti village to meet local population. The fight started after someone from the crowd shouted at Ivanishvili:  “Russian agent, go away!”

Georgian Dream Coalition representatives claim the provocation was initiated by the National Movement representatives. According to them, Kakha Lomidze, Head of Gori Emergency Service was most active. He mobilized the entire service brigade. Besides that, according to the opposition party, government had mobilized sportsmen from neighboring villages. The sportsmen fought and beat women and young people. According to Soso Vakhtangishvili, representative of the Georgian Dream Coalition, “it is time for international community to actively interfere in the pre-election process as government is dragging the process towards civil controversy.”

Meeting of the Georgian Dream leaders with population failed as Irakli Alasania and Bidzina Ivanishvili left Mereti to avoid provocation.  Zurab Chinchilakashvili, Head of Gori Election Headquarters of the National Movement described the Georgian Dream’s accusations as absurd. According to him, the National Movement has nothing to do with the incident. He condemned the given incident and stated that all political parties must have possibility to meet population.

Incident footage can be seen at Palitra TV website at: http://www.palitratv.ge/akhali-ambebi/politika/18826-ra-mokhda-merethshi...

Goga Aptsiauri, Gori, Media.ge

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