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Members of Alliance for Georgia Are Persecuted on Political Grounds

22.06.2009
Nona Salaghaia

Ten members of the Alliance for Georgia have been detained in different regions of Georgia during the last four days. Tina Khidasheli, the leader of the Republic Party which is a member of the Alliance, provided the information. According to her, members of the Alliance in regional offices in Chokhatauri, Lanchkhuti, Tkibuli, Chiatura, Adigeni, Gori and Tbilisi districts were arrested. Khidasheli stated it once more demonstrates that the government continues the persecution of people on political grounds that will lead the country to serious confrontation.

The press center of the Republic Party provided us with the list of those people who are members of the Alliance from the Republic Party and were detained during the last four days.

The list is:

Davit Gudadze (Gori) – member of the Republic Party-- an explosive mechanism was planted in his car;
Tamaz Tlashadze (Gori) – supporter of the Republic party - narcotics were found on him;
Mamuka Tsintsadze (Chokhatauri) – chairperson of the youth branch of the Republic Party in Chokhatauri – he is blamed for illegal storage of fireguns;
Mamuka Kashiashvili (Mtskheta) – member of the Republic Party; narcotics were found on him;
Mikheil Gabunia (Tbilisi) – member of the Republic Party-- blamed for illegal purchase, storage, carriage of guns;
Irakli Khojanashvili (Tbilisi) – member of the Republic Party-- narcotics was found on him.

Thus, all of them were detained either for illegal possession of guns or storage of narcotics.

The press service center of the Republic Party claims that guns and narcotics were planted on everybody and some of them had to plead guilty because of physical assault.

Members of the Republic Party claim that the house of Mamuka Tsintsadze in the Chokhatauri district was searched without the presence of witnesses. The Case of Mikheil Gabunia is particularly extraordinary. He was sentenced by the Tbilisi City Court to two-month pre-trial imprisonment for illegal purchase, possession and usage of guns.

A spokesperson of the Republic Party reported to the Human Rights Center that on June 16 at about 3:30 pm Mikheil Gabunia was going from his house to the party meeting when strangers met him in the street and pushed him into a white car. He was blind folded and then driven away in an unknown direction.

After the car stopped and the blindfold was removed from him, a gun was planted on him. Strangers beat him and threatened to beat his family members too if he disobeyed them.

“Later on, a strange cameraman came with a camera and he made his first statement to law enforcers in front of that camera. As a result of the oppression and demands of the harassers Mikheil Gabunia said in his statement that his grandfather had given the gun to him as a present,” said Marika Gordeladze, spokesperson of the party. After Gabunia was taken to the Ortachala office of the MIA, Gabunia repeated the initial statement because of being threatened and intimidated.

Despite a well organized operation the law enforcers made one mistake. In the resolution on charging the detainees they blame Gabunia for the possession of a gun “Mauzer” of 1938 instead of “Macarov” which he mentioned in the video recording of his initial statement. In addition to that, Gabunia worked in law enforcement bodies for many years; he is criminalist and is taking a doctor’s degree at the university. He is not the only person who became in opposition after leaving law enforcement bodies and joined opposition movements. Other facts also demonstrate that the authorities find such people as traitors and treat them particularly severely. For example, Vako Grdzelishvili, who also worked at law enforcement bodies before joining an opposition party.

Members of the Republic Party also claim that it was not the first oppression of Gabunia. Several months ago he was intimidated and informed the Public Defender about the incident. Thus, since the first incident Mikheil Gabunia again has been victimized.

Regarding the detainees from Gori – Davit Gudadze and Tamaz Tlashadze-- the Human Rights Center has already prepared an article about their detention and you can read detailed information about them on our website.

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