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New Method of Intimidation on Journalists in Zugdidi

30.01.2008
Who Put Up Assembled Photos of Naked Editor of “Gia Boklomi”?!

Ilia Chachibaia editor of the magazine “Gia Bocklomi” and leader of the Zugdidi office of the “Equalitarian Institute” noticed his necked photos assembled with woman’s body in the center of the town on 27 January. According to subscript on the posters Chachibaia offered his clients sexual service at reasonable prices. Editor of the magazine names Vakhtang Gabelia, official of the Constitutional Security Department’s (CSD) Zugdidi branch as an author and performer of the idea. Ilia Chachibaia demands law enforcers to start investigation and urges to human rights organizations to defend his rights.

Ilia Chachibaia tore down the first poster at about 5:00 AM in the entrance of his own house, and then he noticed the same poster on the wall of the building; on the facade of the central post office, etc. He tore about 60 posters at several places “Intimate service at reasonable price (price with agreement). Please ring on the following numbers: 855 17 65 33. 858 26 80 05. Respectfully yours Ilia Chachibaia, you will not regret.”- That is the subscript, but on the bum of the body you could read “I love you”.

Ilia chachibaia: “At about 4:30AM a painter from Zugdidi came to his working place at Chinese shop and rang me up to inform about posters … The glue was so effective that it was difficult to remove them. I saw cars moving around with the numbers and employees of the CSD who watched me. I called patrol police and asked them to arrest the person who had put up posters if they noticed him. I shared my doubt with Maizer Liparteliani, the chief of Zugdidi police department that Vakhtang Gabelia an employee from the CSD was the organizer and performer of the vandalism. Liparteliani advised not to accuse somebody so openly, because I did not have any proofs.” 

Since 9:00AM Chachibaia’s intimate telephone started working. He was dialed from various telephone numbers. Mostly “clients” were men, and the text was the same:”You have a nice bum, I want to meet you!” Phone conversations ended with insulting words.

By midday authors of the “Intimate Service” changed tactics and they called to Ilia chachibaia in the name of various News Agencies and journalists. Ilia Chachibaia: “I was called in the name of News Agency “GHN”. Unknown person asked me to make a comment and asked to name possible performer of the facts. When I guessed that it was a provocative call they started to insult me again. I think that phone numbers 895 48 39 04, 895 27 43 22 and 895 94 30 07 are secret ones and Vakhtang Gabelia ordered people to call me.’

Ilia Chachibaia claimed in his conversation with journalists that law enforcers suppress him psychologically.  He blames Vakhtang Gabelia, the head of one of the divisions within the Constitutional Security Department in Zugdidi, for the hooliganism. “I have a serious doubt that it was Vakhtang Gabelia. Before presidential elections an employ from the CSD called me and threatened to spread my naked photos in the town if I did not stop publishing the magazine. On 25 December in 2007 after finishing the demonstration organized by the Egalitarian Institute Vakhtang Gabelia assaulted me together with other officials from the CSD near the Regional Prosecutor’s Office. They kicked me and spitted at me. I brought suit regarding to the fact at the Regional Prosecutor’s Office.”

Nobody made comments regarding the incident at the Constitutional Security Department’s Zugdidi office. The journalists, Ilia Chachibaia was among them too, were told that Zaza Lataria and Vakhtang Gabelia, were on business leave in Tbilisi. However, several minutes later Gabelia was noticed moving around the town in his own car; but seeing journalists he locked the car and did not get out.

Such a strange attempt to avoid journalists is not very characteristic for Vakhtang Gabelia. During last four years he arrived at the demonstrations with video-cameras and abused political leaders as well as people with different political opinions. The name of Gabelia was connected with the kidnapping of people. Ilia Chachibaia: “The whole country remembers TV and press reports about the kidnapping of Luiza Pipia, Dali lataria and other people. The victims openly stated how Vakho Gabelia managed to kidnap them and then left in a secret house in Saghoria Forest in Imereti Region…There are concrete people who have audio-recordings to prove how supporters of the opposition parties were invited to the Constitution Security Department and suppressed innocent people there. Gabelia’s name was mostly associated with similar cases.”

Recently, the name of eighteen-year-old journalist, Ilia Chachibaia, was often mentioned. He was locked in the quarter of the regional Governor, he was kidnapped, Chachibaia often appeared at the court hearings, protest demonstrations; consequently his name was mentioned by media sources and civil society. Today, Ilia Chachibaia urges international organizations and human rights organizations for help; he calls upon the government and Ministry of Internal Affairs to fire those people who threat Georgian citizens instead of defending their security.

Nana Pazhava, Zugdidi 

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