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Bloody Side of “Velvet Revolution”

Bloody Side to “Velvet Revolution”

The presumption of the Velvet Revolution having been bloodless has been questioned. The myth about a bloodless revolution has been stained with the blood of two Georgians. On November 22, 2003 a special vehicle “GTR” of the Urgent Action Department of the Ministry of Security crashed into a “BMW” car killing two people and injuring two children. Aiming at the propaganda of a bloodless revolution the government does not voice the fact of bloodshed during the Rose revolution and does not reveal those responsible. In doing so, the current government continues the tradition of the previous one: A tradition that includes siding with law enforcers and protecting them at all costs as well as  abstaining from investigations and threating victims. The usual procedure of Shevardnadze’s government –i.e. to prolong the investigation of a case over  years bysending letters from one institution to another – has been inherited by Saakashvili’s government.

On November 22, 2003 the day before the Rose Revolution two “GTR” vehicles were responsible for the death of two people whilst patrolling the street to defend the former president’s residence. The tanks belonged to the Special Operation Centre of the Ministry of Security. One of them, driven by Avtandil Mamaladze, crashed into a BMW with six passengers. Two of the passengers, Davit Sakvarelidze and Eter Tsuliashvili died, whilst the four children were heavily injured.

According to the lawyers of the Human Rights Information and Documentation Center the accident did not occur by chance. Giorgi Tumanishvili states that both of the vehicles were driving on the verge of the right side of the road. The accident occurred because the ”GTR” crossed in violation of traffic rules. The accused driver and witnesses allege that the “GTR” did not cross the road. In contrast they claim that the “BMW” was driving too fast and crashed intothe “GTR”. Expert findings on the other hand confirms the opposite. According to the expertise, the “BMW” was driving in compliance with traffic rules, meaning that in this “situation the accident could not have occurred in such a way as stated by the suspect A. Mamaladze and witnesses…”

The Ministry of Security is investigating the accident of November 22, 2003. Mariam Sakvarelidze, mother of Davit Sakvarelidze says she had been offered financial support in return for not speaking out. She also recalls having been pressured and threatened to agree to the deal.

Regarding this incident, even letters of the Prime Minister, the Prosecutor General, the Georgian Ministry of Security, the Georgian Ministry of Defense and the Georgian Public Defender have proven to be useless when trying to make the investigative bodies fulfill their legal obligations.

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