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Reporters Without Borders: At least 12 journalists were harmed on May 26 in Tbilisi2011-05-27 18:20
Human rights activists of the international organization Reporters Without Borders argued that during dispersing of opposition rallies in the center of the Georgian capital in the night of May 26 at least 12 journalists were harmed. "Georgia-News" reported it quoting a message of RIA Novosti.gt-en-newsitem-inside
"According to our sources, in the night of 25 to 26 May, at least 12 journalists were beaten or arrested by the police, who apparently did not know when to stop. This useage of force against workers who have only covered the event, is unacceptable. We urge the authorities, as well as the opposition, to respect journalists, who must not become collateral victims of political tension in the country" - said the members of this human rights organization in their statement.
Further, they said that journalists in Tbilisi that night were abused and beaten and their video- and photocameras were confiscated and destroyed. In addition, there have been several illegal detentions.
"These violations were often committed intentionally, because the security forces knew that journalists were just doing their job" - Human rights activists said.
They set the example of journalists of "NetGazeti", who suffered from tear gas and rubber bullets, a journalist of "Express-News", who was demanded to stop covering the opposition rally. Also journalists of Internet publications media.ge, newspapers Guria News, "Resonance", Obiektivi and "Asaval Dasavali" were harmed.
Among Russian journalists harmed during that night were RIA Novosti correspondent Andrei Malyshkin, who was beaten and hold in handcuffs in a police station for five hours, a photographer of ITAR-TASS Vladimir Astapkovitch and correspondent of Komsomolskaya Pravda Vladimir Vorsobin.
Recall, the night of May 26, Georgian police dispersed protesters in the centre of Tbilisi, using water cannons and tear gas. Government explained their actions by the fact that the action of the "National Assembly", which was approval by the authorities, was ended at 00:00 pm on May 26. However, earlier, one of the leaders of the "People's Assembly", Nino Burjanadze, said about plans to continue meetings on May 26, the day of celebration of the 20th anniversary of Georgia's independence, as well as to interfere with the military parade dedicated to this celebration.
As a result of events of that night two men were killed and about 40 people were delivered to hospital, another 90 people were arrested.