TBILISI, DFWatch – An opposition party in Georgia that claimed President Saakashvili is organizing political paramilitaries reports that one of its members has been arrested.
Information about the arrest of Sergo Chachibaia, a member of the Free Democrats Party, was reported late on Sunday. The arrested took place in Zugdidi, a town in Western Georgia bordering the breakaway republic Abkhazia.
The Free Democrats party, which is led by Irakli Alasania and belongs to the Georgian Dream bloc figureheaded by the billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, calls it a political arrest and relates it to a statement made last week by Alasania about the government setting up illegal paramilitary groups in the same region where the arrest took place.
The government responded then that Alasania is making unserious statements, and refrained from making further comments.
Tea Tsulukiani, secretary of Irakli Alasania, told DF Watch that strangers provoked Chachibaia in the street. Even though he didn’t yield to provocation, police arrested him and accused him of things he hadn’t done.
The government hasn’t made any comments regarding the incident; neither has the Interior Ministry released information about the reason for the arrested. As a general rule, the Interior Ministry publishes a short statement when someone is detained.
“This is a provocation and we think that Chachibaia as one of Free Democrats ground and also Georgian Dream in Samegrelo is victim of government planned provocation, to paralyze his activity,” Tea Tsulukiani says.
Spokesperson for Georgian Dream Maia Panjikidze says that ‘probably the government thinks Chachibaia is a source of information reported by Irakli Alasania.’ Georgian Dream relates this fact to the statement about illegal paramilitary groups being set up in Western Georgia.
Chachibaia is not the only Georgian Dream member who has unexpectedly run into trouble with the law in recent days. According to Tsulukiani remarks that currently tens of members from the coalition are detained and in all cases the official reason is either illegal possession of weapons, or finding drugs at their homes or in their cars. There are also cases where people are being told that they have injured people at a certain place where they where they were not present at that moment of the alleged crime. In another case the person is accused of disturbing public order and insulting the police.
“They are people, who are clearly innocent and blame cannot be proved, but it doesn’t mean anything in terms of current justice. The Important thing is to be politically active and being arrested just because your existence,” she adds.
She notes that they have made an appeal to the international community.
“They are actively interested in each detail and probably they will react to these illegalities within the frames of their competence.”