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Killed Teenagerís Father Goes on Hunger Strike at Interior Ministry Yard

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, July 4
Father of a killed teenager David Saralidze has gone on hunger strike in the yard of the Interior Ministry headquarters in Tbilisi, as he is demanding a fair investigation and detention of the murderers of his 16-year-old son.

Zaza Saralidze, who organized large scale rallies in Tbilisi which led to the resignation of Chief Prosecutor, says that he does not want to be affiliated with any political party, as some tried to use his tragedy for non-related goals.

He also said that he did not want to disturb people further and decided to start the hunger strike alone.

Saralidze has diabetes and his health is at a serious risk, his relatives say.

On the second day of the hunger strike, on July 3, the Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia offered a meeting with Saralidze, which was accepted.

Two 16-year-old boys were stabbed to death in a school brawl in Tbilisi on December 1, 2017.

The Prosecutorís Office charged two teenagers with Ďpremeditated murder of an underage personí, and three others for not reporting the crime.

Davit Saralidze died in hospital with multiple wounds in his back, while Levan Dadunashvili died immediately.

One of the charged teenagers was detained on December 2, while the other one, who had gone into hiding, surrendered on December 4.

On December 3, the Prosecutorís Office admitted that the father of one of the students involved in the fight was employed by the Prosecutorís Office.

They said the man, Mirza Subeliani, had worked in the Department of Human Resources since 2014.

Subeliani resigned on the next day. Saralidze says Subeliani hinders the investigation process.

The Tbilisi City Court sentenced two teenagers at the end of May, one for the murder of Dadunashvili and another for attempted murder of Saralidze. The court could not say who killed Saralidze.

Zaza Saralidze says the verdict proved offenders, who have the protection of the law enforcement bodies, still walk free.

Saralidze held a rally shortly after the court verdict was announced which led to the resignation of chief prosecutor on May 31.

A fact-finding parliamentary commission was also established to investigate the case. However, the commission is composed more minority than majority members and the ruling party members refuse to meet the recommendations elaborated by the minority.