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Sighnaghi Policemen Beat 23-Year-Old Young Man Ruthlessly

Gela Mtivlishvili, Kakheti

Sighnaghi district policemen – Levan Kharatishvili and Otar Topchishvili ruthlessly beat 23-year-old Guram Bagalishvili. Bagalishvili had his head broken by fire-gun in three places. The victim has bruises on the right eye and top of the head. According to the allegations of the witnesses, policemen really acted as hooligans, beat the man and abused their power. However, nobody has been detained for the crime yet.

The incident happened at night of January 1 (the night of the New Year) in the village of Sakobo in Sighnaghi district. The witnesses say Guram Bagalishvili was in the family of his girl-friend Nutsa Turashvili as a first foot. At about 3:30 am Bagalishvili left the family together with his girl-friend. They sat into Guram’s car and at that moment another car started in their direction from the opposite side. The car stopped at Turashvili’s house. Bagalishvili signaled and greeted them; after that two men got out of the car and cursed Guram Bagalishvili who was out of the car also; the strangers started to kick and beat him. They tried to push Gurami down but since they could not do it, Levan Kharatishvili took out his gun and hit it in Guram’s head several times; consequently, Bagalishvili fainted and fell down.

The attackers still continued to kick and beat Bagalishvili when he was lying on the ground unconscious until Nutsa Turashvili called her family members for help. They took fainted Bagalishvili into the house however the attackers still continued to curse him and did not obey the request of the Turashvilis to leave the place. Later, Guram Bagalishvili recovered and managed to reach his house; then his father took him to Tsnori hospital.

The father of the victim claims that during 5 hours after the incident he was unsuccessfully trying to make the police to react on the incident. “I called Sighnaghi district police, Tsnori district police division, patrol police but nobody paid attention to us on time,” said the father Guram Bagalishvili. He added that one of the attackers – Otar Topchishvili also loved Nutsa Turahsivli and the incident might have occurred for the revenge. Criminal case was launched on the incident under Article 332 of the Criminal Code of Georgia (abuse of power by using weapon). Sighnaghi district prosecutor’s office is carrying out the investigation. They have not detained the policemen yet; they were just fired.

Head of Sighnaghi district police department Aleksandre Onanashvili and district prosecutor Davit Kochlamazashvili do not comment on the fact.

It must be noted, that it is not first fact when Sighnaghi district policemen beat citizens. Short time ago, deputy head of the district police department Otar Dighmelashvili beat Gela Kutibashvili so ruthlessly that his 12 teeth and lower jaw were broken. After that, police detained Kutibashvili for resistance. Despite many suits of Kutibashvili, Dighmelashvili was promoted and he now works at the Kakheti regional police department.

The Human Rights Center sent special appeal to the law enforcement bodies regarding these incidents and requested punishment of offenders. However, nobody has reacted on this appeal yet
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