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Batumi and Lazistan Eparchy, Georgian Muslim Department Responded to the Incident in Tsikhisdziri

17.04.2013

Interpresnews

Batumi and Lazistan Eparchy of the Georgian Orthodox Church is deeply concerned about the incident between military servants and local inhabitants in Tsikhisdziri village. The statement was published on the official website of the Eparchy.

Interpesnews published the full text of the statement: “We are deeply concerned about the incident that occurred in Tsikhisdziri village in Kobuleti on April 14 where several drunken military soldiers abused local inhabitants on religious grounds. Some people were injured. It is pity that people, who shall protect our safety, themselves cause similar incidents. We are concerned about increased number of incidents that occurred on religious grounds recently and we think they were inspired by evil-minded people. We hope similar incidents will never happen in future because religious controversy might cause unmanageable processes in the country and will undermine its future development.”

Georgian Muslim Department also responded to the incident in Tsikhisdziri and placed its statement on their official page on Facebook. “Georgian Muslim Department is deeply concerned about the incident that occurred in Tsikhidziri village in Kobuleti district where visiting military officers abused several local inhabitants on religious grounds.”

“Georgia is a multinational and multiethnic country, where people of different ethnicity and religions have lived together as brothers and friends, loved and respected each other during many centuries. There was no controversy on religious grounds between them. We believe that today certain people try to establish discord and hostility between Georgian brothers with different religions though their attempt will not succeed because their behavior, even though they might also be public servants, cannot express the position of the entire country and the nation.

Georgian Muslim Department condemns this unjustified and shameful fact and requests law enforcement institutions to carry out impartial investigation into the incident and punish perpetrators in accordance to the law. We would like to thank to the Defense Ministry of Georgia which promptly responded to the incident and according to our information, all military servants participating in the incident were dismissed from job.”

Late at night of April 14, an incident occurred between military police officers and local inhabitants in Tsikhisdziri village. Local Levan Meskhidze recalled that he was going home by car together with his wife when military police officers stopped him and searched. As Meskhidze said, military police officers inquired whether he and his wife were wearing crosses. Meskhidze said the militants threatened them with killing unless he was Christian.

Other residents of Tsikhisdziri village also speak about the incident. According to their statements, they heard three gunshots at night and claimed that militants abused seven local inhabitants.

Defense Minister of Georgia dismissed the head of the Senaki Military Police Unit and several military police officers on the ground of the incident in Tsikhisdziri.

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