Journalists Suffered from Incident in Mereti
Journalists have also suffered in the 26 June fight in the village of Mereti. According to the 9th Channel journalisr Nodar Skhirtladze his cameraman and he himself have been aggressively attacked and hit by unidentified persons.
“Our crew was attacked. They hit my cameraman several times; they hit me also. They were saying for us to get away and not to film them. Locals told us those were former sportsmen; residents of Ditsi village. That was the information given by the Georgian Dream members,” Nodar Skhirtladze says.
Vehicle of the news agency Info 9 has also been damaged during the fight5, Info 9 journalist Shorena Gogoladze told media.ge.
26 June Bidzina Ivanishvili and Irakli Alasania visited Mereti village to meet local population. The fight started after someone from the crowd shouted at Ivanishvili: “Russian agent, go away!”
Georgian Dream Coalition representatives claim the provocation was initiated by the National Movement representatives. According to them, Kakha Lomidze, Head of Gori Emergency Service was most active. He mobilized the whole service for the cause. Along with that, according to information circulated by opposition, government has also mobilized sportsmen from neighboring villages. According to the opposition, the sportsmen participated in the fight actively and were hitting women and young people. According to Soso Vakhtangishvili, representative of the Georgian Dream Coalition, “it is time for international community to actively involve in the pre-election process as government is taking the process to civil opposition.”
Meeting of the Georgian Dream leaders with population failed as Irakli Alasania and Bidzina Ivanishvili left Mereti for avoiding the provocation. Zurab Chinchilakashvili, Head of Gori Election Headquarters of the National Movement described the Georgian Dream’s claim accusations as absurd. According to him, the National Movement has nothing to do with the incident. He condemned the given incident and stated that all the political parties must have the possibility to meet with population.
Fight footage can be seen at Palitra TV website at: http://www.palitratv.ge/akhali-ambebi/politika/18826-ra-mokhda-merethshi-bidzina-ivanishvilis-stumrobisas-dapirispirebis-kadrebi.html