Wednesday, 7 November 2007

People under attack: the real face of Georgian 'democracy'

Brutal force, tear gas and water cannons to break up opposition rally

This is the end of Saakashvili's fairy tale. This seem to be the end of Saakashvili's regime.

Georgians will not forgive him for this attack.


I think Saakashvili seriously suffers from spy-mania. Actually, it’s a very convenient pathological condition, successfully used back in Soviet times and elsewhere to shut dissident voices. As expected, he blamed everything on Russia, and Russian “special agents”. An extremely convenient trick for anyone who perhaps feels that grounds under his power are shattering. He used it before too, and apparently from now on any discontent with his policy and regime will be considered a treason. Good old days are back. And good to ensure continuous Western support too.

My Georgian friend from Tbilisi blamed opposition too. He condemned government’s excessive use of force but suggested that opposition was to blame too. They provoked police and were not really up for a dialogue with the ruling regime, and “both sides acted ugly.” I am sure that opposition is not any better (just names of people who are behind the opposition are enough to put me off; also ridiculous mass prayers during their rallies – oh dear…). But I know one thing, when those in ruling power use excessive force against civilians, there is something wrong with their power. Therefore, I blame government. I can’t imagine that Saakashvili will survive. In any case, as long as he is in power, there will be no calm in Georgia and no prospect for democracy.


...Georgian authorities effectively closed down pro-opposition TV station... and in further dramatic developments, a state of emergency was declared in Tbilisi. It was announced at government briefing. My friend says that government pointed out "attempt of coup" as a reason behind the limiting freedom of assembly and freedom of speech. What a symbolic day to do so - 7 November! First- force, then- spy-mania, now- shut down of 'enemy' TV station and emergency situation.

"It became clear today that there is no democracy in Georgia",- says Georgia's Ombudsman - chief Human Rights Defender, who was among those under tear gas attack and witnessed beatings of people and journalists. He compared Georgia with Lukashenko's Belarus. He promised to do whatever possible to restore democracy and human rights in the country. "There is very long way to go."
for photos from the event - see Unzipped: Gay Armenia