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Attacks on Journalists Increase Geometrically

14.09.2005

Attacks on Journalists Increase Geometrically

On the 6th of September late at night, the new host of the famous political TV talk shows “Debates on 202” Irakli Kakabadze, was beaten up near his house. The fact came soon after the attack on another journalist in Gori - Saba Tsitsikashvili. It seems that violence against the independent Georgian media is spreading.

Different comments made by the Prosecutor’s Office about Kakabadze’s case were confusing. Kakabadze and his friends spoke of provocation from the side of the government. The only witness of the case, Zaal Baidashvili, gave his testimony in the office of the Prosecutor. Baidashvili says, he was put under pressure during the interrogation and that the video material, which was shown on different TV stations was edited. Hours after the questioning, Baidashvili was taken to the Drugs Department, where the remains of heroin were “discovered” in his blood. 

Kakabadze thinks that the government tries to accuse him of the same lie; it has accused the former PM Zurab Zhvania of.
 
Kakabadze: “I have lost money, but I have found two condoms in my pocket instead.  Police says that they have found blooded sheets in the apartment of my friend Zaal Baidashvili. It is another dirty step, made by the government.”

Georgian opposition leaders say that the attack was planned by the government. As the leader of the “New Righters” David Gamkrelidze thinks, the attack had a political background and aims to shut the famous TV show down. “Kakabadze did not allow the government to shut down the program and this is how the government reacted. I am saying clearly that the government is terrorizing independent media in Georgia and international organizations have to do something to stop it.”

David Usupashvili, Republican Party leader: “It is obvious, that all the doubts that rise over Kakabadze’s case stand in connection to the government. But I am sure; politicians will do their best to resolve it.”

Human Rights defender Sozar Subar is also concerned about the fact. He says that the latest attacks on journalists get more and more biased.

President Saakashvili personally ordered the investigation of the frequent cases of attack to the chief of the Ministry of Interior - Vano Merabishvili. Saakashvili and the General Prosecutor have promised that the case will be investigated soon. But no one knows what they mean with “soon”. Seven months have passed after the death of former PM Zurab Zhvania, two months after the attack on Valerie Gelashvili and 4 years after the murder on the famous journalist George Sanaia and the criminals have still remained unpunished. At the same time, Vova Arutinian was found through a picture made from a satellite.

Prepared by Rusudan Jamaspishvili based on the information of Media News and "GHN"

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