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Gamsakhurdia’s case: 15 years for truth2011-02-28 20:30
Tsotne Gamsakhurdia, son of the first President of Georgia Zviad Gamsakhurdia, is facing a real prospect of spending the next 14 years in prison. Public prosecution requires prolonging the sentence of Gamsakhurdia who has already been convicted for an attempt to give a 274-dollar bribe. The accused and his attorney consider the case to be a political one. That's true: Gamsakhurdia decided to embark on advocacy in prison. The government assessed the start of his own political career at seven additional years that Tsotne is going to spend at a penal colony.
Tsotne Gamsakhurdia's case could not but be a political one because we are speaking of Zviad Gamsakhurdia's younger son, the founder of today's Georgian state.
Tsotne was arrested on 27 October 2009; he was accused of an attempt to kill his neighbour. Gamsakhurdia fired a pistol at him. The case was considered in court for almost six months and only on 8 April 2010 the severe sentence was awarded. Gamsakhurdia was sentenced to nine and a half years for an attempted killing and illegal fire weapon storage and bearing.
Gamsakhurdia did not admit his guilt and since then started considering himself a political prisoner. In fact, he became such some time later when he made an incautious step.
While in prison, Tsotne Gamsakhurdia decided to embark on advocacy. Letters started flowing from his cell stating the prisoners' hard situation. Tsotne reckoned it well: due to his second name, his appeals to international institutions about the state of affairs in Georgian prisons were much more notable than those coming from numerous Georgian attorneys. But Gamsakhurdia missed one point. Prison is the most forbidden topic in the Georgian policy. On paper, local laws are actively "Europeanized", while in fact, Gulag is reincarnated in Georgia.
Consequently, the authorities decided to quickly find a way to close the mouth of another human rights defender especially that he was already in prison.
What precisely has Gamsakhurdia done as a human rights defender?
Last September, he demanded setting up an international monitoring council that would permanently watch the situation in the places of imprisonment. In Gamsakhurdia's opinion, only the interference of international structures can save prisoners from lawlessness.