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Why was Zviad Gamsakhurdia’s widow beaten?30.12.2009 | 00:04
Life in Georgia with Mikheil Saakashvili as president is as scary as at the time of Edward Shevarnadze. Manana Archvadze-Gamsakhurdia, the widow of the first president told GeorgiaTimes about the "democratic" leader's methods of governance. Tsotne, her son, announced a hunger strike in prison, and she herself is seeking political asylum in Grmany trying to escape psychological pressure and beatings by Georgian special services.
Pressure from power structures Manana Archvadze, widow of Georgia's first president Zviad Gamsakhurdia is complaining about is not a metaphor. As she told GeorgiaTimes, on December 17 she was detained in a small office she was sending emails from, then taken to the counterintelligence department and severely beaten.
"I have no PC at home, so I went to the office of my acquaintances, this is a small room in fact where I send letters to my friends from. They had been spying on me for two months and they could wait no more. On December 17 I was captured and kept in the counterintelligence department for 7 hours. I was beaten there, there are signs of beating on my body", - Archvadze told.
Before that the state of her health was examined by experts who made a related statement. The trouble is it can't be submitted. According to Archvadze Saakashvili, Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili and Prosecutor General Murtaz Zodelava belong to one gang.
The only hope the first president's widow has is to rely on foreign help. In her call to German Chancellor Angela Merkel for political asylum Manana Archvadze writes that not only her but all her family are pressurized by the authorities.
Recently Zviad Gamsakhurdia's son Tsotne announced the second hunger strike in pre-trial detention. He was forced to since the court of Tbilisi prolonged inquest for another four months regardless of the evidence provided by Tsotne's lawyer Keti Bekauri sufficient to acquit Gamsakhurdia junior.
His defender repeatedly stated that the inquest was artificially prolonged. She outran the Interior Ministry officers and was the first to interrogate aggrieved David Badzhelidze, the neighbor whom Tsotne allegedly had wanted to kill. The wounded man didn't see the shooter!
And the main witness couldn't physically see Gamsakhurdia going to Badzhelidze because of location of her house and poor eyesight.
Compiling the report Bekauri thought the arguments she had provided would help to set Tsotne free - at least - or even close the case. Far from it. Archvadze's son, 33, is supposed to be kept in prison for another four months. Earlier, as GeorgiaTimes wrote, he was groundlessly accused of espionage in favor of Russia.
The question is whether he will survive the second hunger strike over two months. Last time, his mother says, he was taken out of a pre-coma state with the help of electric shock.
"He has been on a hunger strike for 43 days. Now he announces a new one. But they keep ignoring our rights. They don't let him study the evidence, the materials of the case. The family is not allowed either. I can't even see him. I have just been to the police office - I'm denied a meeting. They don't give a written denial, they say no verbally", - Gamsakhurdia's widow laments.
"Our family has been persecuted for 19 years. We have had no home for 19 years. Kolkh tower (Gamsakhurdia's family home - ed)? You can see photos, they started renovation works but they aren't going to finish them. We live practically in the street. And this is the family of the first president of Georgia. This is the family of Konstantin Gamsakhurdia, a writer and an academician (Zviad's father - ed)!
They disseated my husband and we had to flee Georgia under gun barrels. Before 1998 our family lived in Moscow.
Then we decided to come back hoping they would think we are manless and that they wouldn't humiliate us. But what changes could there be with Shevarnadze? We were under constant pressure. We were taken to wastelands and beaten. They wanted to force us to keep silent.
Then - oh, how good - Saakashvili was brought here. You know very well who brought him and on what money. But he was Shevarnadze's continuator. Four years ago I urged them to stop intimidating our family, but no one reckoned with us. I kept being beaten, then Tsotne was accused of espionage and now he is charged with attempted murder". - Manana Archvadze told.
His elder brother, parliamentary deputy Konstantin Gamsakhurdia (Zviad Gamsakhurdia's son of his first wife Dali Lolua - ed) petitioned for him. He is the leader of opposition Freedom party and has recently been back to the parliament to sit on the committee investigating into circumstances of his father's death. Recently Georgian prosecution confirmed having no evidence of Zviad Gamsakhurdia's suicide. That means the issue whether his death was not natural is still open.
But questions about Konstantin Gamsakhurdia make Manana go mad.