Journalist Reports on Being Beaten by Interior Minister’s Security Guards
Journalist Irakli Vachiberadze of the Kutaisi-based newspaper P.S. having encountered problems with President Saakashvili’s bodyguards on May 2, clashed with the security guards of the Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili and Parliamentary Vice-Speaker Mikheil Machavariani on May 3. The incident took place at Meliton Balanchivadze Opera Theatre hosting a closed meeting held between Vano Merabsihvili and Vice Speaker and the activists of the United National Movement.
Irakli Vachiberadze, he says, freely managed to show up at the meeting: “At the entrance I did not tell anyone I was a journalist, most likely they took me as the UNM activist,” says the journalist.
In the course of the meeting, says the journalist, he started recording with his mobile phone having consequently attracted attention. He was recognized by Kutaisi City Hall’s chief specialist in media relations and several Sakrebulo members.
“Afterwards security guards got me out into the lobby and started beating me with their hands and legs. I told them I had asthma and then they stopped. They, of course, deleted the footage,” says Irakli Vachiberadze with no injuries visible on.
Media.ge got in touch with Keti Deisadze, Kutiaisi City Hall’s chief specialist in press and public relations, who was not present at the meeting at all, and just called in the theatre to pick up some of items she left there a day earlier and she did not see Irakli Vachiberadze therein at all.
Journalist Irakli Vachiberadze is going to appeal to the Public Defender’s Office for further response.