Rallies in Tbilisi, Georgia

There have been rallies on Liberty square in Tbilisi today in support for Georgian Dream coalition that are in opposition to the president Saakashvili. The electricity has been off today, apparently to prevent spreading the information. Government channels do not report anything about it, only some private ones.

We must carry out elections in peace and never let the newly elected government break the rule of law, constantly monitor the process in order to avoid mistakes that we have made in the past! Often we have closed our eyes and did not react to the government’s misbehaviour!! …. We should look after our government as we will look after our child!”

Third year law student Maria told this to me.

Prison scandal served as a catalizer of an anti-government feeling among the students.

“Do not torture”. Thousands of people have been protesting this week.

Maria says that Rose Revolution brought Mr. Saakashvili into power and Georgia started its way towards democratisation.  Every day Georgian infrastructure was modernized by speedy high ways, new bridges, fountains and cosy restaurants. She says that facade reconstruction was taking place in every city displaying will of building a democratic country.

According to her, from outside everything looked neat but behind the scenes much nasty staff was going on.

Maria also remembered that for many years the public defender was complaining about the abuse of inmates but the government ignored his reports.  Rumors were spread about mistreatment and torture of prisoners but there was no evidence. Only after two TV stations  – Maestro and Channel 9 aired videos showing tortures and sexual abuse in a Tbilisi prison each citizen felt humiliated and huge protest sparked, she said.  Especially, young generation, “we – the students were active this time. We organized groups on social media and marched to block the streets in front of the Tbilisi concert hall where the President was attending a musical’’ –to show him our anger .

Georgian people felt betrayed and demoralized, all the efforts of the government went down the drain  when realizing that we live in a country where basic human rights are not respected. Where the government denies and shamelessly lies about the fact that they did not know anything about it, where only a small group in the executive branch makes all the decisions and there is no check or balance on this power. Maria says that people understood the real values based on humanity and morale and this is not the cost that we have to pay in order to live in a safe environment. Apparently, we can be safe from criminals but not from the state!- she said.

Maria is sure that participation in these elections will hit the pick, as it has vital importance for the future development of the country. An unprecedented number will go to ballot boxes to express their strong will for change.

I am crossing fingers for fair and transparent elections and let’s see what will happen, she said.

Nelly Rukhadze


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