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Intimate details of Georgian blackmail12.05.2013 | 23:04
In social networks there has appeared footage from the personal life of one of the Georgian journalists - George Paresashvili. Distribution of such materials can be considered one of the methods of exerting pressure on the media. In neighboring Azerbaijan, for example, this method was used against an employee of the radio "Freedom" Khadija Ismailov who was engaged in journalistic investigation concerning foreign businesses members of the president's family. What was the reason of blackmail of the Georgian journalist exerting Paresashvili?
The law on privacy states that everyone has the right to personal and family privacy, protection of honor and good name. The collection, storage, use and dissemination of information about the private life of a person without his or her consent is forbidden. But what are the mechanisms to protect the citizen from the attacks on private area, how to close the "keyhole" for such an observation - this law is silent.
A few days ago in the international networks there has been published a video footage showing the intimate life of George Paresashvili. The journalist denies the authenticity of the material. At a press conference a few days ago Paresashvili said the footage was cut and posted on the Internet in order to discredit him. The reason, according to the journalist, was his professional occupation. In particular, his recent investigation into the ownership of a business company that under the previous Government was down in the name of representatives of the authorities.
Paresashvili states he has led his own investigation for a few months and found out that the company, owned by former government officials, had passed into the possession of the current high-ranking officials, including the new adviser to the Prime Minister of Georgia Gia Khukhashvili, the First Deputy Prosecutor General Lasha Natsvlishvili and Deputy Interior Minister Gela Khvedelidze. Under assumptions of the journalist, these individuals are responsible for the spread of compromising material.
Georgian Prime Minister responded immediately and stood up in defense of his advisor and other members of government. According to Ivanishvili, Khukhashvili only helped to restore public property taken away by several businessmen. Prime Minister also completely excludes that Khukhashvili could lobby any business.
"How do you imagine that? I became Prime Minister and started lobbying business? Or do you think that any of my team members would have dared to do this? I exclude that. As for Gia Khukhashvili, I asked him to settle the case with several companies that had been engaged in public business, and we have settled this moment. Everything was in the hands of 3-4 businessmen; and we have passed it to the railway that is owned by the state. Khukhashvili helped me very much. And I am very grateful to him for that. He is a decent man; it is excluded that he allowed himself something; and I would have never held such a person close," says Bidzina Ivanishvili.
Later the Prosecutor General of Georgia Archil Kbilashvili made a comment on the occasion. He noted that he had studied materials of journalist and had not found anything criminal. "The journalist has the right to express his personal opinion," said the Prosecutor. "Though his accusations are unfounded in this case," said Kbilashvili.
Georgian non-governmental organizations also did not stay aside. They consider the situation the direct pressure on the media and condemn the spread of video footage relating to the intimate life of George Paresashvili. And the fact that the journalist links the video on the Internet with his plans to expose the corrupt deals of former and current high-ranking officials reinforces suspicions. The question is: why the new authorities have not taken timely and decisive action to eliminate the old staff in order to put an end to this dirty practice? It must be established when this secret footage was made, who had an access to the material and how it appeared on the Internet. Non-governmental organizations are also calling on the government to conduct an effective and timely investigation.
Several people have held a protest against attacks on privacy. The participants of the rally demanded from the leadership of the Internal Ministry to find and punish those responsible for the scandalous video. However, a group of people tried to disrupt the action by insulting the protesters. The question arises: how could the action for protection of the privacy of citizens upset the young people?
And the young people - three girls and one guy trying to disrupt the action - were upset by the fact that the protest action was held during the Easter season in a crowded place and in addition by the representatives of sexual minorities. They also believe that the protesters were not behaving in Christian way. Christian ought not to be gay!
President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili has expressed his point of view. He said that such methods of speculation and blackmail as the spread of video reflecting a person's privacy have characterized the Shevardnadze's government, hinting at the fact that now the government included a lot of people of the old Shevardnadze's team.