TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s justice minister on Saturday opened a memorial for the victims of the Saakashvili regime, which held government power in the country from 2004 to 2012.
The memorial stone at the entrance to the House of Justice bears the names of Zurab Vazagashvili and Alexandre Khubulovi, two young men who were killed in a rain of police bullets on May 2, 2006, as the car they were driving was sprayed by machine gun fire in a hot pursuit situation.
This is part of a handful of deaths by special police forces that have been strongly criticized for heavy handed police action and lack of accountability afterward.
President Mikheil Saakashvili came to power after a peaceful coup in November 2003 known as the Rose Revolution. The uprising was popular at the time, but his national movement soon became criticized for abuse of power, and for its human rights record, particularly as Saakashvili sought to root out crime by tough police tactics and a zero tolerance policy which tripled inmate numbers.
At the opening ceremony Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani said that Iuri Vazagashvili, father of one of the victims, wished to make this monument a memorial to all those who were victims of the political regime from 2004 to 2012.
“Today we gathered to pay tribute to those killed and make a treaty with the past and this past is called the former government,” she said, adding that she hopes this memorial will become a bridge between the past and a very bright future.
The children of Aleksandre Khubulovi, the mother of Buta Robakidze, killed in 2004, and several of the top people in the Georgian Dream coalition also attended the opening ceremony.