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Opposition Parties Complain About Oppressing Their Activists

April 8, 2010

Manon Bokuchava, Kvemo Kartli

Representatives of the opposition parties complain about increased different forms of oppression on them before the elections.

“I have known for a long time that my mobile phone conversations are listened to. I do not react on it. Sometimes I make them listen to the music; I worry about the listeners. We will need those people in future,” said representative of the People’s Party in Rustavi, Mamuka Tabatadze.

Mamuka Tabatadze is a former supporter of the late Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania. He recalled several incidents. “We offered several people to be single mandate candidates of the party; after negotiations those people agreed but later, two of them refused. Initially they could not explain the reason. Soon, one of them said in a private conversation that he was oppressed. He was advised to keep away from our party. During the conversation they mentioned his son. I do not know who directly they threatened him about his son, but it is a fact that after similar conversation he changed his decision,” said Mamuka Tabatadze.

Opposition parties are particularly active in the pre-election campaign in Rustavi throughout Kvemo Kartli region. Consequently, warnings like “don’t destroy yourself” should be heard in the city oftener than in other towns and villages of the region. However, the situation is different as it was reported by the representative of the Movement for the Just Georgia in Rustavi Nukri Shatirishvili. “Our coordinator was intimidated in Gardabani district. He was insulted and advised to quit our movement,” said Shatirishvili. He said that Gardabani district governor was the author of the threats; this person is famous for his rude character.

We also got sure in the fact that Gardabani district governor Zviad Epitashvili is not very polite person. After waiting for him for one hour, he got surprised why I protested against the delay. “Who is funding you?” he asked us several times. The representative of the press-center protested against our several questions saying “I do not like your attitude towards the issue.” We wanted to hear comments of the governor about other problems too, but because of his aggression we decided to speak only about the information provided by Shatirishvili.

“I have perfect relations with the representatives and activists of the opposition parties in Gardabani. I know that everybody has a right to have different opinion. Who complained about me? Tell me and I will explain everything to you. You should not publish only their side,” said Zviad Epitashvili.

At the approaching elections, the situation is getting complicated in Kvemo Kartli region. People are irritated and aggressive. We will estimate only after the elections who will not keep nerves and breach the law.