Poetry Night Cancelled for Political Reasons
Mari Tabidze, Imereti
The youth wing of Georgian Dream together with the main organization wanted to meet young people in Tkibuli. One of the meetings was going to be held in a culture house in Tsutkhveti village of Tkibuli district.
George Kublashvili, one of the organizers from Tkibuli district, explained what happened: “We wanted to bring several youngsters from village Tsutakhevi to Tkibuli for poetry night. We were also interested in trying to find some youngsters who write their own prose. When the head of the village heard that the director of Tsutakhevi culture house was helping us he called him and verbally abused him. As a result of this pressure no young person came to our meeting,” the Georgian Dream youth wing member told Humanrights.ge.
Temur Kuprashvili, representative of the culture house, does not deny helping Georgian Dream’s youth wing to organize this meeting.
“George Kublashvili wanted to bring local youths to the culture house for a poetry night. I didn’t deny him but it appeared that no youths were in the village. I also informed Jemal Oboladze, the head of village administration, that George Kublashvili wanted to meet members of the younger generation. Oboladze was angry with me and said that the poetry night would have political motives, something that later appeared to be true. The fact that the head of village administration was in my house doesn’t mean that there was pressure on me. Our families are close and our wives are friends” – said Temur Kuprahsvili.
Jemal Oboladze also commented on the matter: “We are not involved in politics and I don’t know why they are trying to spin it that way. The meeting didn’t happen because the youths were in Tbilisi. Temuri and I are close friends and there was no quarrel between us,” the head of village administration said.
According to Eliso Chapidze, a Georgian Dream candidate in Tkibuli, the reason that the prose night fell through was pressure on Temur Kuprashvili: “We wanted to meet the younger generation in the villages. One of the leaders of our youth wing, George Kublashvili, was organizing this meeting. He is very talented and he also writes prose. The director of the local culture house was helping us organize this meeting but later came under pressure from the Georgian government. That is what he said during our conversation when he also asked for help.
But these weren’t the only problems in Tsutakhevi. The next day, when George Kublashvi left his office at half past nine, he was arrested by the police and sent to Kutaisi for a drug test. George Kublashvili wasn’t under the influence of any drug so he was later released. I think this was done to intimidate him. Spreading rumors that George Kublashvili is addicted to drugs discredits him and anyone involved in doing that should be punished.”
According to George Kublashvili there was no pressure from the police and he was released after the drug test.