Info 9 Cameraman beaten when performing professional activities
Nino Mshvidobadze, Guria
At 7:00 pm on August 15, Davit Chavleishvili, cameraman of Info 9 in Lanchkhuti district, was beaten when performing his professional activities in front of a mini-bus near Lanchkuti municipal building.
Journalist Nino Kheladze of INFO 9 told Humanrights.ge that on that day public servants and teachers were taken to Batumi concert by mini- bus: “According to our information, they were taken to see Veris Ubnis Melodiebi (Melodies from Vera District/ remake of a famous Georgian movie). We were video-recording this fact when the incident occurred. Lanchkuti police is investigating the case. Certain Zurab Kvirkvelia beat Dato but, I don’t know yet who he is”.
Davit Chavleishvili recalled the incident: “I was video-recording some fact. This boy approached our car and started shouting at journalist and demanded to leave area. Then he suddenly came up to me and hit the camera. The camera hit my forehead and I received a trauma. As a result I was taken to hospital”. He added that nobody has got in touch with him from the local authority.
Chaleisvhili has his eye damaged. But doctors say he is out of danger.
We interviewed Lali Imedashvili, head of Lanchkuti bureau of the newspaper Guria News, who came five minutes after the incident in front of the municipal building. “When I came there incident had already happened. District administration and municipal board members were standing in front of the building; deputy governor Kakha Askurava was also there. When I asked them to comment on the incident, Askurava started laughing.”
Lali Imedashvili confirms that young members of the National Movement were also sitting in the mini-bus.
Local governmental officials do not comment on the fact.
Soso Bolkvadze, leader of the Georgian Dream’s local office, said this fact proves that there is no democracy in Georgia: In Democratic countries journalists’ safety is extremely protected and nobody interferes in their activities. First of all, it is incredible to push a person who does not do any harm to you.”
According to Human Rights Center’s information Zurab Kvirkvelia is Nato Nutsubidze’s husband; the latter is secretary of Lanchkuti district governor Giorgi Goguadze. Kvirkvelia is unemployed.
Employees of district administration and municipal board were sitting in a bus during the incident. Tamar Pirtskhalaishvili employee of legal service, Nato Nutsubidze secretary, Vato Shalikashvili – employee of the Property Service and two teachers Lanckhuti Public School # 1 were sitting in the mini-bus.
Criminal proceedings were launched on the fact. Police questioned Chavleishvili and Kheladze On August 16.