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Protesters speak out on the prison beatings

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, September 20
Hundreds of people expressed their anger in protest after watching shocking prison videos released in the media on Tuesday evening. Civic representatives, ordinary people, NGO representatives, spiritual people, students and prisoners' relatives all gathered in the center of Tbilisi yesterday. The protest was also joined by the TSU students who had planned a protest action of their own, but instead expressed their solidarity with the tortured prisoners.

The Messenger spoke with several rally participants:

Ia Metreveli, founder of the charity foundation Komagi and mother of the murdered Buta Robakidze, who was killed by patrol officers a few years ago:

“This brutal fact astonished me. I could not believe that this was real footage or not. It is ridiculous to welcome minister’s resignation, because she was just a marionette of the authorities. The whole government should be replaced and all guilty people should be punished according to the law. It is time to end this government.”

Manana Abuselidze joined the rally carrying with her a photo of her murdered brother Jambul Abuselidze who was tortured and killed in the prison.

"The regime should be ended. I am ready to sacrifice myself in order to save future generation. My brother was tortured and murdered in December, 2010 and no one took the responsibility to investigate this fact."

Singer Zurab Manjavidze: "I do not demand the resignation of anyone. It has no sense as one person will be changed to another and the prison abuse will continue. I do not find the minister’s resignation adequate and she is not the only one who should leave their post. I want to express my solidarity to those prisoners and to their family members."

“All people should be strictly punished. This is a shocking fact. I cannot express my feeling by words. I can hardly imagine if something like this is happening in other countries,” Giorgi Tabatadze.