Bidzina Ivanishvili

Bidzina Ivanishvili

Tbilisi, DFWatch – During his TV talk show, former prime minister, Bidzina Ivanishvili, once again slammed the head of a local NGO and the president’s adviser, accusing them of following the political agenda of the United National Movement.

The targets were the same – Eka Gigauri, executive director of Transparency International Georgia (TI) and Kakha Kozhoridze, former head of Georgian Young Lawyer’s Association (GYLA), now adviser to President Margvelashvili.

Former members of the UNM who lost their position in politics and turned to the non-governmental organizations, are not ‘dangerous’ at all, Ivanishvili said during his weekly talk show 20/30 on GDS TV, owned by his rapper son, Bera. However, is is ‘dangerous’ when the respectable NGOs and their leaders are following political agenda of the UNM, he continued.

His ‘suspicion’ were backed by ‘the fact’ that Gigauri and Kozhoridze statements and activities are in line with the UNM political agenda, Ivanishvili said.

Especially Ivanishvili was angry for their refusal to attend screening of the video depicting inhumane treatment of prisoners during the previous government back in 2013, as well as for activities of This Affects You Too, a campaign by bunch of NGOs, including TI and GYLA, to protect citizens’ privacy against illegal surveillance by the intelligence.

Ivanishvili also criticized TI’s later researches and Kozhoridze’s statements during the last round of showdown over the presidential palace.

The first accusation goes as far back as in June, 2013, soon after the Ministry of Internal Affairs found a cache with videos containing personal information and torture. According to the MIA, these videos had been illegally filmed by their predecessors during Mikheil Saakashvili’s presidency.

The MIA invited dozens of journalists and NGO representatives to attend screening of the most disgusting videos, including those depicting rape. However, some invitees, including representatives of GYLA, TI and the ISFED, stepped out from the screening considering them inappropriate and violating privacy of the victims.

(The latter NGO, International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy, ISFED, and its head, Nino Lomjaria, also a usual target of Ivanishvlili criticism, were almost completely omitted during Sunday’s talk show.)

“He had not read our researches,” Eka Gigauri wrote on her facebook page in response, refuting all accusations and describing Ivanishvili criticism as ‘comic’, because “he accuses the media and NGOs for conspiring with the former government, while he (Ivanishvili) himself was a top sponsor of the last two governments,” Gigauri wrote on her facebook page.

Ivanishvili didn’t accept criticism at all and would be infuriated if knew that the Constitutional Court had already accepted the lawsuit submitted by This Affects You Too against the law that gives the intelligence legal rights to directly access presonal data, she added.