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Political prisoners and the opposition: a new hope2010-04-14 19:57
The Georgian opposition again demanded that the authorities should free the political prisoners. This time, 11 parties signed "a solidarity document" in Tbilisi that will be sent not only to the representatives of the current regime but to the international organizations and the diplomatic missions as well. Is it going to produce any affect?
The politicians representing the Georgian oppositional powers who gathered in the office of the People's Political Defender have agreed to hold a protest action on April 15 in the center of Tbilisi and demand to release the political prisoners. Son and brother of one of the oppositional leaders Eka Beselia Rati Milorava and Sergo Beselia, son of the first President of Georgia Tsotne Gamsakhurdia, as well as the supporters of the former Chairman of Parliament Nino Burjanadze are among them.
"Unfortunately, we have got a lot of people who are kept in prison on political grounds. I would like to express solidarity with all the people who struggle against the unfairness of the regime. Naturally, we are going to take part in the action that will be symbolic; the action is expected to remind about the people who are kept in prison being not guilty", - Chairman of the Democratic Movement - United Georgia party Nino Burjanadze underlined.
Persecution on political grounds has become a common thing in Georgia of late. Several high-profile processes took place in the country this year. One of them was a trial of the military men whom the authorities regard guilty of arranging a military mutiny in the armored cavalry battalion in Mukhrovani. Despite the fact that the court of Tbilisi passed a sentence of acquittal upon one of the accused, the resigned General Koba Kobaladze, other claims of the Prosecutor's Office were satisfied. Koba Otanadze was sentenced to 29 years of imprisonment; Levan Amiridze was sentenced to 28 years, Shota Gorgashvili to 19, and the rest to 11 years of imprisonment. At the same time, there are still a lot of disputable points in the mutiny case, while the members of the Conservative Party of Georgia are sure that there was no mutiny at all at the military base.
Not so long ago, a trial process over Tsotne Gamsakhurdia was completed. As is known, a year ago, the authorities groundlessly tried to accuse him of espionage in favor of Russia, while last October he was arrested on suspicion of inflicting a gunshot wound to his neighbor David Badzhelidze. Despite the absence of evidence, the court of Tbilisi prolonged the investigation several times, and Tsotne embarked on hunger strike twice while staying in the pre-trial detention center. Ultimately, the son of the first Georgian president Tsotne was sentenced to 9,5 years of imprisonment.