Special Investigation Service Detains Suspect in Opposition Politician Assault

On 20 December, the Special Investigation Service (SIS) arrested a citizen for allegedly attacking an opposition United National Movement (UNM) politician yesterday in Batumi.

Giorgi Kirtadze, the head of the UNM office in Adjara, a member of the Supreme Council of Adjara, and the party’s former candidate for mayor of Batumi, was attacked on December 19 while being interviewed live by the opposition-leaning TV Formula.

A violent individual can be seen physically assaulting the opposition politician and flinging eggs at him in the footage taken by the media. “You’re Giorgi Kirtadze, right?” the attacker yelled at the politician, “You are a traitor to this country.”

On 19 December, the Adjara Autonomous Republic Division of the Investigative Department of the Special Investigation Service launched an investigation under Article 156 (2a) of the Criminal Code of Georgia, into the fact of violent persecution of Kirtadze, who allegedly became a subject of violence because of his political activities.  

“They are attacking politicians in the Russian Bolshevik spirit and trying to physically destroy people disobeying the regime. They tell us every day that peace is slavery in their understanding and if we do not remain silent they will treat us in a manner similar to how opponents are only treated in Russia. The third president of the nation [Mikheil Saakashvili] is being tortured, there is a chronicle of death and all of this is being broadcast live on television. This was the message conveyed in the footage from Batumi that was broadcast live on television: don’t try to resist, don’t dare fight, and don’t even consider triumphing,” – Nika Melia, incumbent chairperson of the UNM said

UNM was joined by the opposition parties Droa, Lelo, European Georgia, and Strategy Aghmashenebeli in condemning the assault. 

Giorgi Kirtadze has been summoned to the Special Investigation Service for questioning. He believes that he was attacked on political grounds. Yesterday Kirtadze said he does not have confidence in the investigation under the ruling Georgian Dream.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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