Magazine article New Internationalist

Paying for It: Georgian Police Critics Hospitalized

Magazine article New Internationalist

Paying for It: Georgian Police Critics Hospitalized

Article excerpt

[Graph Not Transcribed]

In the centre of Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, Vasiko Silagadze was shoved into a car. He has that solid build and air of authority typical of investigative journalists, but Georgian police are no less strong and there were three of them. They beat him and sliced the pen-holding fingers of his writing hand. 'Now let's see how you'll write articles,' they said.

Vasiko is not the first Georgian journalist to be hospitalized after police brutality. Two years ago Aleko Skitishvili found himself in a hospital bed after Special Branch Police prevented him from reporting on a Mafia-boss trial. A year ago police turned on journalist Giorgi Kapanadze when he witnessed them beating another person and tried to intervene. And these are only the cases that get to the courtroom.

Journalists publicizing unlawful behaviour or exposing police and ministerial corruption can expect to pay for it afterwards. The presenter of a popular investigative Georgian TV programme called 60 Minutes apparently received veiled threats for airing critical information on the Interior Minister (and head of police) Kakha Targamadze. …

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