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Family of murdered child holds rally

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Thursday, August 7
Family and relatives of Barbare Rapaliants have held rallies, demanding the urgent investigation of a child’s death.

They gathered in front of the Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection on August 6. The family plans to go on a hunger strike in the case their questions about the child’s murder are left without answers.

10-month-old Rapaliantsi was found dead in the yard of her own home. The death happened on 30 September, a few days before the 2012 parliament election. During and after the elections, the Georgian Dream coalition claimed that they would investigate the case urgently and the killers would be punished. Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili even took the case into his personal control.

The family demands to meet with Interior Minister Aleksandre Chikaidze and Deputy Minister of Culture and Monument Protection Manana Berikashvili, who accused the former governor of the Kakheti region Giorgi Ghviniashvili in the murder.

However, the meeting was rejected, and the family was promised that they would be contacted regarding their questions on August 6.

However, the Rapaliantsi were never contacted. They were told that Chikaidze was out of Tbilisi. Later they were told that he was out of the country.

“Two years have passed since the murder of my child. There is not even one bright spot in this case. If the situation does not change, we are going to stay here and will go on a hunger strike,” stated Tatia Mekerishvili, mother of Barbare Rapaliants.

”My baby was killed because the Georgian Dream (GD) was fighting for seats in the parliament. How come that after 2 years not even one detail was cleared up,” said Pavle Rapaliantsi, Barbare’s father.

According to Grandmother Tina Mekerishvili, the family wanted to raise the issue before the presidential and local elections.

“We were not able to speak out about the issue. There were different people threatening us. We were afraid for our children. We even have not slept for a long time. We are even afraid of leaving the children alone,” stated Mekerishvili.

According to her, only the members of the United National Movement were demanding an investigation.

“The former governor of Kakheti region and member of the UNM Giorgi Ghviniashvili were the only ones pushing our case to the government, and asking them to investigate the case” noted Mekerishvili.