The society became known several years ago, of an unprecedented cruel treatment of prisoners in the prisons of Georgia and, put the end to the governance of the former state power.
It is true, some information was spread time by time about the facts of torture in the prisons, but all closed the eyes, as if nothing was happening, while the former president remained the “Light of Democracy”, for the Americans and the “Flagman of the freedom and justice” for the international society. However, as the former prisoners say, the offenders were not punished even after substitution of the former government, neither rehabilitation of the political prisoners took place. Moreover, as seen, a part of our society is experienced the amnesia because the “National Movement” received 27% of votes in the recent elections…. In order not to forget forever the cruelty and illegality that was a common practice in Georgia in a near past, the “Geworld” started the rubric “Without the limitation period”, where the former political prisoners recall their own histories. Today, the guest of the rubric is a former political prisoner Kako Shubitidze, Chairman of the youth wing of the Marneuli regional Organization of “People’s Assembly”.
– Our family has also experienced a brutality of the “National Movement” – my father and I were arrested illegally. When I was arrested by parents became diabetic patients, because of nervous state. First they arrested my father, then me. My father was arrested because of his participation in 2009 rallies, he was charged as if illegal storage and carry of the shotgun. Rally, he never had the gun, he was a well-known person in our region. Since that times starter the problems of my family. I was worked at the “United Telecom”. At fired they fired me from the office, than charged me as if illegal storage, carry and use of the narcotic drugs. For the representatives of Saakashvili government, it was an ordinary practice and very easy method to arrest undesired individuals with accusing them as if they stored and carried the guns and the narcotic drugs.
Because I was the chairman of the youth wing of the regional “People’s Assembly”, I was actively participating in the protest rallies. Before arresting, they permanently contacted me by phone and threatened, even the security service officers visited me and my relatives, they warned me not to go to the protest rallies, otherwise, as they told, serious problems could be created and, if I agree with them, they promised me to appoint on the position in the regional administration. Of course I denied their proposals
I saved from the raid of the 26 May 2011 protest rally, they failed to arrest me in that time, but exactly after one month, on June 26, they arrested me. One woman was permanently contacted me by phone, as if she needed by help for the Palace of Culture of Marneyli Region. When we met, she managed to pour the narcotic drug in my glass. I felt myself bed and wanted to go, but she asked me to help her in hotel accommodation. I helped her in this, but then suddenly, she told that wanted to drive to Tbilisi and that I could stay in the hotel room. Only later I understood that it was just preliminarily planned scenario, and that they wanted to arrest me in the hotel, without any noise. In the hotel I smoked the cigarette given by that woman, where I thing marihuana was mixed. When leaving the hotel,, I glanced that the local criminal police officers were following me by cars. The police officer Ivane Khalhviashvili approached to me, who as the sole witness in by court case. He put his gun on my head. Later on, during the court process, he told that he noticed me incidentally in the street and arrested because of reasonable doubt. He told also that when he called me, as if I run. this is lie, of course. The second police officer Giorgi Gelashvili put narcotic drug in my socket.
When I protested, he told me – why are you shouting, you know how all is happening, we warned you to stop with politics!
They took me to Teleti in narcotic test center where they found the marihuana trace in my organism. They insisted me to recognize the crime, otherwise, they told me to determine 11-years imprisonment. But I denied it and did not sign the search report, because all their actions were illegal.
– How proceeded an ordinary day in the prison?
– Hell begins after opening the prison gate. No matter what I will say, nobody can imagine how terrible is even one day in the prison. The prisoners are permanently under psychological and physical pressure. For example, in quarantine, which all prisoners must undergo in the first day, 35 men were in 16sq.m. cell where only 3 beds table, chair and toilet are. The water leaked from the spoiled tap. You have to sleep on standing position, because there was no chance to lie down. Neither blanket nor pillow on the iron beds. And, how to sleep when the prisoners are crying all the night… Because of insufficient air, all tried to stay near the door.
The prison officers often forced us to see how they tortured other prisoners, for instance, they were ordering them to stand on knees, urinating over them , saying that after the end of the elections Saakashvili will stay in power and, then you will see what will happen with you. Sometimes, they were opening one or another call door and beating the prisoners. We were in a permanent fear. I do not know from which families these sadists were.
In the bath, we were forced to finish everything in five minutes. That is impossible of course. They were restricting us to have even a normal bath.
– For what reason they could beat the prisoners?
– For nothing, absolutely. For instance, when they took out one prisoner, the another one take his blanket. For this he was beaten brutally. They often ordering us to lie under the bed or stay on knees and were abusing us and beating. Once they came in the call and ordered us to sing “Misha is powerful in all weather”. Who could sing? we did not do it. For this, they have beaten all of us, in the cell.
All prisoners who had the applications sent to the Strasbourg Court, they took in the quarantine and called us as agents and traitors. I spent alone 10 nights in the so called isolation cell, but they forced one prisoner from Bangladesh to write as if I was abusing him.
– Were the NGOs representative visiting the prison?
– Yes. they had meetings with us and we told them everything what was happening, but after they departure, the prison officers treated us worst. The NGOs representatives were promising us that they would deliver the information to relevant bodies, international organizations, ombudsman’s office, but that was all they did. The NGOs representatives provided no help to us.. As seen, it was their job. In Gldani prison, no day passed without funeral of one or two dead prisoner
– Is it possible that the state power did not know the situation?
– It is excluded. Khatuna Kalmakhelidze, the Penitentiary Minster, several times visited the prison together with the representatives of foreign organizations. In that times the prison administration allowed us to hear radio, see TV, play, read newspapers – in order to demonstrate that it was everything OK in the prison
If the state power could not be changed, I would still be in the prison. Thanks for this to the new government, but, I want to ask them to start investigations and that all the offenders be punished and to restore the just forever. “Nationals” call us as the criminals. It should be investigated who is criminal and who is a political prisoner. Regardless the fact that I have a status of a political prisoner 2-thoidsmd GEL penalty is not still abolished, I have not the right to work.
I know names of all those individuals who were participating in my case. I want them to be punished. False witness Ivane Khakhviashvili still works in the police,. Prosecutor of Marneuli Levan Lazarishvili was participating in my and my father’s cases, as well as in cases of all others who were illegally charged. But, Lazarishvili is even goes forward in his career. Giorgi Gelashvili, who put narcotics to my pocket, as seen, has a top patron and is restored in the position in law enforcement structures. Investigator Vakhtang Charkviani is now a chief of one of the police department. So,I ask for justice,only. I appealed the case in Strasbourg Court and, now I wait for their answer. ASs to Georgia, investigation of my case is not started still. I think the government does not want to investigate the cases of political prisoners
Interviewed by Shorena Tsivkarashvili