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People Are Detained on Political Grounds in Gori

10.04.2009
Tea Tedliashvili, Gori

April 8 did not end  in Gori without incidents. A representative of Irakli Alasania’s political party was arrested for insulting law enforcers and minor hooliganism in Gori yesterday. Tamaz Makashvili from the “Alliance for Georgia” was set to prison for 10 days.

Tamaz Makashvili was charged under Article 166 of the Administrative Code of Georgia (minor hooliganism, using foal language in public places that breaches public order) and under Article 173 (resisting law enforcers on duty).

Makashvili stated at the trial that he inquired at the bus-station in Gori if he could hire a mini-bus; but the reply was that there were not any vacant buses in Gori. Makashvili believes he was arrested on April 8 because it was suspected that he wanted the mini-bus to transport demonstrators .

Makashvili did not plead guilty and claims he was arrested on political grounds.

“I am member of Irakli Alasania’s party and I was arrested on that ground. My rights have been breached in Georgia,” said Makashvili.

Arsen Akhalkatsi, inspector-investigator, testified at the trial that Makashvili was stopped because of aggressive driving of his car and because Makashvili insulted him.

Makashvili states that the policemen took him to the police station but nobody explained to him the reason for detention.

“While I was in the room they were discussing who was to write a protocol because they did not know how to write it. The person who appeared in the court room and signed the protocol was not on the scene of my detention. I met him only when I was being taken to the police station,” said Makashvili.

Nino Dalakishvili, a representative of the Public Defender in the Gori district, visited the detainee at the police station. Law enforcers however did not allow her to meet Makashvili.

Judge Davit Papuashvili did not consider the testimony of Makashvili and sent him to prison.

Representatives of Gori based nongovernmental organizations attended the trial. They suspect that the trial was not impartial.

“The court did not investigate the facts and did not interrogate the witnesses who are mentioned in the protocol. The evidence and circumstances were not studied though policemen and the detainee provided different explanations,” said Ketevan Bebiashvili, head of the Gori office of the Young Lawyers Association.

Tamaz Makashvili’s wife, Ia Bzhalava, believes that her husband is detained for his political activities. She is going to apply to human rights organizations for help and will appeal against the decision of the Gori district court. “Injustice should not reign in the country all the time,” said the wife of Makashvili.

Yesterday, Merab Gablishvili, who is a relative of Tamaz Makashvili, was also arrested with Tamaz Makashvili and personally attended hi detention. He also resisted the policemen and supported Makashvili.

A certain Mezvrishvili, a resident of the village of Karaleti who is a driver of a mini-bus, was also arrested yesterday. He is being punished for having taken people to Tbilisi.

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