The South Caucasus Network of Human Rights Defenders


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Georgia: The Appeal of Georgian non-government organizations
[29.07.2010]
To
The Head of the European Union Delegation in Georgia
Mr. Per Eklund

The allied social movement “Ara” (No) was founded by three different organizations in March 2010. The movement is active in the field of human rights generally, political and illegal prisoners’ rights, violations in Government institutions, illegal actions of government officials, illegal business deals, violations conducted by law enforcers, interests of socially unprotected citizens etc.

Since foundation, the organization has uncovered numerous violations including secret business activities of high government officials, so called “sued cases”, political persecutions, criminal conducts of law enforcers and internal tensions in the government.

Taking the above mentioned into cosideration it is not unusual that the authorities started to persecute the movement politically. However this time it has been covered under the mask of criminal prosecution. On 11th of July 2010, at about 3:00am the head of the social movement “Ara”, Levan Chitadze, his colleague Levan Kochloshvili and their friend Erekle Butiashvili (the later not being the member of the movement) were talking in the yeard of their house on Moscow Avenue when Chitadze and Kochloshvili were detained by a policeman dressed in civilian cloths. The policeman did not present his service ID or disclose identity, he did not even explain the reason of detention. He even abused the detained verbally and took them to the police department number five.

As it has turned out later, the policeman was Levan Mgeladze. The detained were not explained reasons of detention for two hours. In conversations between policemen Longinos Bolkvadze, Emil Kuprava, Ioseb Tatenashvili and Levan Mgeladze even the charges in robbery were considered as one of the detainees was found a pistol shaped lighter. It is noteworthy that the third person, Erekle Butiashvili, who is not the member of “Ara” was not arrested. There was an attempt to detain him later, in order to neutralize him as the only whitness, but it failed and two activists were charged of disobedience for which they were placed in the preliminary detention cell first, then trailed and charged of 400 lari.

It is also noteworthy that during their transfer from the fifth police department to the preliminary detention cell only one detainee was given the right to use the phone. Later the court did not even take their petitions into consideration. Also interesting is the fact that during the court hearing, two policemen, Longinos Bolkvadze and Ioseb Tatenashvili were registerd as detainants while it was Levan Mgeladze who did actually carry out the arrest. The policemen also changed their testimonies in court and the official protocol of the hearing was also changed accordingly.

We would like to ask you to evaluate the case and react within your competences. We hope that it will be possible to organize the meeting where we can provide more detailed information on this and other similar cases.


Signatories:

Social Movement “Ara”
Article 42 of the Constitution
Former Political Prisoners for Human Rights
Human Rights Centre
Multinational Georgia
Social Movement “Solidarity to Illegal Prisoners”

 


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