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“Electric shock” to democracy2011-09-09 11:41
A new blow was delivered at the Georgian law-enforcement authorities' reputation. According to the Association of Young Lawyers of Georgia non-government organization, there is every ground to believe that during the protest action break-up on the night of May 26 one of the people died not because of electric shock as the official statement goes but was killed by policemen. Of course, security officials do not listen to NGO's conclusions but it does not change the fact: Nika Kvintradze was "handled" by law enforcers.
First, let us come back to the events of the bloody May night. Traditionally, the country celebrates the Independence Day on May 26 and the government decided to hold a military parade in the morning. The parade is held in the square in front of the parliament building. Oppositionists came there the evening before, led by Nino Burjanadze. The authorities did not conceal their intention to hold a military march by all means. The last "Chinese warning" was Tbilisi Mayor's Office officials' visit to the protester; they suggested that the latter should better get away from sight of the Georgian leader who was to turn up the morning after.
When the opposition refused to meet the government's conditions, an assault started. Neither the action participants, nor journalists, nor onlookers expected such cruelty of the law enforcers.
In June, GeorgiaTimes interviewed the witnesses of the event, a Commersant press photographer Dmitry Lebedev and a Komsomolskaya Pravda reporter Nikolay Vorsobin. Both of them found themselves in the thick of things; Vorsobin managed to avoid police batons but Lebedev was not that lucky. He was beaten several times and his equipment was taken away as a "trophy". They both told about the police's cruelty when they broke up the rally: pools of blood on the asphalt, the detainees sitting right in them with beaten faces and in handcuffs; policemen chasing those who have not been "pressed", beating the screaming women.
Next time, we saw Dmitry Lebedev at the end of August in Abkhazia. Taking his eye-glasses off, he said: "You wanted to see my face, that's how I look". In June, the press photographer gave an interview with his dark eye-glasses on, for his face was too damaged.