CSOs react to developments in Gurjaani - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო

CSOs react to developments in Gurjaani

28 May, 2015


We, the signatory organizations, would like to react to developments in Gurjaani unfolding in recent days, which may as well contain elements of crime prescribed by the Criminal Code. We thus urge the law-enforcement agencies to react respectively. Further, we urge the Prime Minister of Georgia and other high officials and civil servants to refrain from making statements equivalent to clear and obvious fostering of violence and leading to escalation of conflict situations.

According to media reports, on 20 April 2015, staff members of the Gurjaani local administration (Gamgeoba) and the local council (Sakrebulo), together with activists of the "Georgian Dream" Coalition have invaded the offices of Gurjaani single-seat MP, Giorgi Ghviniashvili, and forced him and other members of the "United National Movement" to leave the building. Confrontation emerged after Ghviniashvili has unveiled a plan to set up the commission for probing into corruption activities of the Gurjaani local governor (Gamgebeli). Eggs were thrown during the confrontation. Regardless of dozens of police officers mobilized by the local administration building, they have failed to effectively prevent the occurred.

Remarkably, the Head of the Kakheti Regional Chief Department of the MoI, Giorgi Bubunauri, the Head of the Gurjaani Police, Giorgi Kratsashvili and others were observing the developments from a few meters. Local governor of Gurjaani Givi Gergidze, his deputies Elguja Giorgadze and Dimitry Kalatozishvili, Chairman of the Local Council Vano Beridzishvili, his deputy from the Republican Party Zviad Kviralashvili and others were also onlooking the confrontation.

According to the reports, the Head of the local administration's Property Management Department Davit Nikolashvili, Head of the Supervision Service Durmishkhan Amisulashvili, Chairman of the Local Council's Commission for Economic and Property Management Affairs Levan Khaziuri, Chairman of the Local Council's Commission for Infrastructure and Natural Resources Zakro Kachlishvili, village Vejini trustee Kukuri Jamatashvili, trustee of Gurjaani town Dimitry Arevadze and others were particularly vigorous when breaking into the MP's office by use of force.

Facts of confrontation were reported on April 21 as well, when members of the "United National Movement" have protested against projects in Gurjaani suspended after the change of the authorities. Manager of the Gurjaani football club "Alazani", Mikheil Purtseladze has approached MPs Giorgi Ghviniashvili and Levan Bezhashvili and insulted them verbally. There was an attempt of physical assault as well.

It is especially alarming that in his April 21 comments on developments in Gurjaani, the Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Gharibashvili has approved actions by activists, noting that "the Gurjaani population have fairly and adequately reacted to the National Movement's actions", hence in fact contributing to escalation of violence.

Aggressors encouraged by inaction of the police and the Prime Minister's above-mentioned comments have continued attacking the MP on April 22, when the "Georgian Dream" activists gathered in the building have thrown hatching eggs at the Gurjaani single-seat MP Giorgi Ghviniashvili and accompanying individuals. According to the "Kakheti Information Center", "there were few police officers in the local administration building as well, however they have not warned the "Georgian Dream" members in any manner whatsoever".

Given all the above, we urge respective agencies to take adequate measures to timely and impartially investigate the occurred, as well as to probe into and duly react to potential facts of nepotism and corruption deals in the Gurjaani Municipality.


Georgian Democratic Initiative

Georgian Young Lawyers' Association

Media Development Fund

Georgia's Reforms Associates


Tolerance and Diversity Institute

Nonviolent Communication Institute


Transparency International  Georgia

Gurjaani, UNM