News, Prisoner abuse

Protested against violence

by | Oct 8, 2012

Naming of prison staff could inflame the situation, argues the protesters. One of them, a well-known Georgian writer, was attacked after a TV debate. (Photo: Mari Nikuradze.)

TBILISI, DFWatch — Groups on Sunday protested against the attack on a well-known Georgian writer who was beaten after participating in a TV debate about the publishing of the names of prison employees by a newspaper.

About 50 people gathered outside a police station in Tbilisi close to the place where writer Zaza Burchuladze was attacked.

The writer’s wife told journalists that they are not planning to file a complaint against the attacker after they learned that he might get sentenced to three years in jail, which they consider is not adequate sentence for the crime he committed.

“If it was some kind of administrative detention or fine, we would file a complaint,” his wife said at today’s rally.

Students, representatives of different spheres of culture Sunday had come to appeal outside the police station for authorities to investigate the attach on Burchuladze and to protest against violence in general.

It all started when the newspaper Asaval-Dasavali published the full name, address and date of birth of all employees at Gldani prison, including the cleaning staff and even the cooks. This is where most of the prison abuse cases have taken place. Part of society protested against the publication of names because they believe it risks stoking up trouble and violence against those who were named, who may not be guilty of abusing prisoners, since investigations have not yet been launched in specific cases.

On the first day of protest there was a loud-voiced exchange outside the office of the newspaper. Burchuladze was among the protesters. The next day he and the editor of Asaval-Dasavali were invited to Maestro’s studio to discuss the topic, but it turned into shouting and cursing. The editor had with him to the studio a collection of quotes from the writer’s novels and read a part containing sex, taken out of context.

Afterwards, the writer and his wife claim, there were a number of different kinds of threats against him over social networks, and in the evening someone attacked him and beat him, resulting in a brain concussion.

But the writer decided not to file a complaint against the attacker, this way calling for tolerance towards aggressive people.

“We believe violent people should not be given the opportunity to harass artists,” the protesters’ appeal to the police read. “Unlike Asaval-Dasavali we have a sense of responsibility. Despite these many suspicious circumstances, we do not name who may be the aggressor.”

After signing the appeal, the protesters carried the appeal in to the police office and delivered it.

READ ALL ABOUT THE PRISONER ABUSE SCANDAL HERE



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