TBILISI, DFWatch – Members of the ruling National Movement party who have left the party as sign of a protest against prisoner abuse revealed by the release of several videos say the government is harasses them and their family member and trying to stop them from leaving.

Coalition for Freedom of Choice Wednesday evening reported about the harassment.

Edisher Sikharulidze, Head of Military Accounting, Recruitment and Mobilization at Chokhatauri Municipality and member of the ruling party’s headquarters, was planning to hold a briefing on Thursday with the support of this organization. He planned to speak about a specific scheme, how the military commissariat was engaged in election issues, how voters are being harassed and how members of the election headquarters are paid.

He spoke about this issue on Wednesday saying that such facts are unacceptable to him and he doesn’t want to be considered a member of the ruling party.

He resigned as a sign of protest and refused to work at the headquarters.

Late at night on Wednesday, Coalition for Freedom of Choice reported that a briefing was postponed because of harassment against Edisher Sikharulidze.

“Sikharulidze sent a letter to the coalition about his decision, in which he scheduled a briefing. He spoke on the phone with the governor of Chokhatauri region, Lela Imedashvili, and explained his decision. A few hours were enough to implement pressure against his family members in Chokhatauri — which we can prove with telephone recordings. Sikharulidze at night decided to speak at the briefing,” coalition statement says.

Davit Chichinadze, a council member in Tsalenjikha, a town in western Georgia, left the faction to protest against the National Movement.

At a press conference he said that the disgusting footage released on 18-19 September tears off the mask of the ruling political force and its repressive system.

He says the ruling party used effective decisions of reforms for more centralization of its own powers instead of decentralization and to create a strictly controlled system grounded on party-clan principles. He said they ignored all the basic principles and requirements foreseen by the European Charter for local government.

As a sign of protest he also left his position as deputy head of Georgia’s delegation at the Council of Europe’s congress and also the position as head of the environment ministry’s ecology expertise and inspection department.

He calls on former employees at the ministry and council to evaluate the situation in Georgia and split with the ruling political force.

Davit Chelidze, an employee at Gori municipality’s sport center, joined the protest rally and stated that he also resigned.

Citing the same reason Irakli Mirtskhulava and Merab Tskrialashvili, lawyers at Prison Ministry, also resigned.