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Tbilisian police will never insult a reporter, especially the one from the West2009-06-17 16:59
Something incredible has happened recently. Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia has twice apologized in public to the journalists for having prevented them from shooting another scuffle near the police building. As it turned out, there were several representatives of the Western media among the persons affected by the guardians of order. That seems to be the reason for the unprecedented politeness.
A special statement made by MIA in the context of breaking up the meeting near the MDIA building became the finishing touch on the eventful Monday in Tbilisi. By way of a protest action the young oppositionists tried to rescue their associates that had got behind bars on the 12th of June. At that moment, the policemen noticed another two participants of the Friday scuffle, Dachi Tsaguria and Malor Vachnadze, and put them under arrest. The whole lot of the oppositionists sprang forward to protect their arrested friends. A true battle began, which victims are still healing their wounds. In particular, Zurab Abashidze, a close associate of leader of Alliance for Georgia Irakli Alasania, is now in hospital.
The journalists rushed forward to shoot the scene. They had been previously invited to the protest action at the MDIA building; however, the policemen, whose number exceeded the number of the oppositionists at least thrice, were not ready to demonstrate the grin of the regime to the Georgian society via the photo and video camera objectives. Thus, the journalists were hastily neutralized.
As the Civil Georgia agency found out, there were foreign journalists among those who suffered from the actions of the excessively diligent policemen. A photographer from European Pressphoto Agency was beaten black-and-blue and the Reuter reporter was deprived of his camera.
Temur Pandashvili, a camera operator from Kavkasia TV Company was severely beaten. The policemen took away his camera and the video records of the action crackdown, as well as the camera of another journalist, Georgi Kobakhidze. The same trick was done with the two cameras belonging to the Maestro TV Company. In protest to such treatment, both the companies went off air. According to the TV Company Director Mamuka Glonti, the journalists are trying to draw the attention of the international organizations to the events in Georgia and to the violation of the journalists' rights.