Refugees Are Evicted from the Hotels
Disruption of hotels “Meskheti” and Medea” has started in Batumi. Refugees living in these hotels are protesting the fact by holding demonstration in the yard of the building. 300 IDPs out of 1900 sheltering the building refuse to accept 7 thousand dollars from Kazak investors and demand to increase the amount (their demand implies compensation according to the measure of the living space). Demonstrators reject to abandon the building until their demands are fulfilled. This is the reason of unrest and trouble that followed the process of disruption between the population and law-enforcers. Two refugees – Bachuki Bigvava and Dato Arziani were imprisoned within 4 days’ period due to their disobedience to police.
On July 16, in the morning, before starting hotel disruption, 6 juveniles were taken to the drug-test department and some boys - to the police department from the hotel “Medea”. The mother of the detainee, 16 year-old Irakli notices: “My son was sleeping when police came and took him off the bed and carried him to the police department. When I asked the reason of their behavior the answer was as follows: the children keep sitting in front of the hotel “Medea” until late at night. My son was brought up here; now they are saying good-bye to each other and I do not know what the problem was!”
The youngsters say that police questioned them why did not they agree to get 7 thousand dollars allocated for their families. “Terror has started – children are taken to the police department, they are forced to take 7 thousand dollars as a compensation. This is pressure upon children and their parents. Children are absolutely innocent”- states Zviad Asakia, the refugee living at the hotel “Medea”.
The above mentioned fact of taking children to the police department, was followed by the confrontation between police and the civilians. The refugees make comment on the fact: “Gia Parava, who tried to support children, was arrested by police. In the police department he was beaten so that he has serious injuries. We had to call for the ambulance as well”.
It is worth to notice the fact that hotels had not had water supply and electricity during 3 days. The power distributing company says that they have to pay fees and afterwards power supply will be restarted.
Population complains about the happening: “Due to Shevardznadze I lost two-storeyed house in Abkhazia while Saakashvili is taking away from me my two-room flat. We are left without any sensible choice but to go and demonstrate on the Endguri Bridge.
“Electricity was turned off, water supply was stopped and disruption has been started. I confronted and police tried to arrest me. My husband tried defended me but police arrested him”- stated the wife of the David Arziani, the detainee.
Bachuki Bigvava was detained because of the attempt of protecting a woman. The judge followed the article 178 of the Administrative Code and sentenced to four days imprisonment for the disobedience to the police.
On June 26 the next trial should be held regarding the refugees’ demands referring to the living space. But beforehand refugees have no place to go. “If they gave us some time before the trial it would be better, but now if we get that amount of money, we will not be able to manage and find any other accommodation” - say the refugees.
Gela Siradze, the lawyer of the refugees thinks that the process of disruption has been started illegally: “According to the law, the family, after concluding the contract, should have abandon the flat within the 3-month period of time, but it must be emphasized that this people did not ever conclude any contracts. Disruption has been started illegally. By ruining the stairs and destroying the balconies the government compels refugees to move out of the hotel buildings.
As the Ministry Of Healthcare of Adjara, Mamuka Nakashidze announced in the interview with “Media News”, the Kazak investors and refugees had been holding serious and active negotiations on the weekend. The investors are looking through the issue again and if they change any item referring to the payment of 7 thousand dollars, eventually the contract will be concluded by June 19.
Maka Malakmadze from Batumi