Manana Macharashvili, a Signagi resident, is going to start a hunger strike in front of the Georgian Parliament and in case nobody will pay attention to her she will commit suicide. The governor of the Signagi municipality, the deputy governor of Kakheti and other officials forced Macharashvili and a businessmen to sell their commercial property in Signagi to an investor. The sale and purchase of the estate happened at midnight. Macharashvili was taken to a notary office with force and law enforcement officials made her sign away her property rights.
Mana Macharashvili and other businessmen have immediately approached lawyers for legal assistance.
“Gia Inashvili, an employee of the Signagi local government, has directly threatened me. According to Inashvili the financial police would discover some financial discrepancies in the books of my store and arrest me if I did not sell my commercial property to Bachana Davlianidze. Moreover, officials warned me that in my house some drugs would be found. I have children and got afraid, but I refused to sell my store. The store was the only source of income for my family;. we do not have any other income. Despite the threats, I have informed Inashvili Ramaz Khatiashvili, the Signagi Governor, and David Ciskaricshvili, the deputy governor of Kakheti, about my decision and denied to sell the store. They forced me to sell it. Police officers visited me at midnight and made me sign a contract. I have told Giorgi Lomashvili, the notary, that I was not willing to sell the store. I wanted to impede the unlawful act and did not submit the original documentations, but in vain,” - states Mana Macharashvili.
During the consultations with the lawyers it turned out that the sale of the poverty was done in an illegal manner, because under the decision taken by the Telavi Tax Inspection of the Tax Department of the Ministry of Finance on December 16, 2006, the property has been sequestered. “In accordance with the Georgian Tax Code it is not permitted to sell a property until the property rights are frozen. Notwithstanding, they did not face any obstacles in the notary office or at the Signagi Public Registry. The Tax Inspection informs the Public Registry automatically when a property is sequestered and a special copy is sent to the Public Registry,” - declares Lia Khuroshvili, a lawyer for the Human Rights Centre. According to the lawyer, it is obvious from the explanations of Macharashvili and others that the officials have abused their power.
The lawyers of the Human Rights Centre demanded the Regional Prosecutor’s Office to start a criminal case on a violation of the right to poverty. The Regional Prosecutor’s Office has sent the application and attached materials to the General Prosecutor’s Office.
“We were charged and interviewed by the General Prosecutor’s Office. We have described everything in detail. Since, we have been in touch with the General Prosecutor’s Office several times, but the answer remains the same: they are still expecting instructions from higher up,” - declares Manana Macharashvili, who has not even spend a tetri of the money she received from Davlianidze for her store.
We have tried to get in touch with the General Prosecutor’s Office several times, but in vain. Khatuna Ckhvediashvili, the spokesperson of the General Prosecutor’s Office failed to meet us because she was too busy. Nobody answers when we call the office phone number.
The formers owners, tired from waiting, have met with Elene Tevdoradze, the head of the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights and Civil Integration. According to Tamar Tarashvili, Elene Tevdoradze has promised to assist them, but there are no results yet.
Manana Macharashvili has managed to hand in her letter to Nino Burdjanadze, the acting president, even though no governmental structures have expressed an interest in the case.
According to Manana Macharashvili she only decided to resort to an extreme form of protest after all these failed attempts. Tomorrow she is going to start a hunger strike in front of the parliament and in case nobody will pay attention to her, Manana Macharashvili will commit suicide.
Gela Mtivlishvili, Kakheti