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არაკაცების მიერ სასტიკად ნაწამები ზაზა წიკლაური


არაკაცების მიერ სასტიკად ნაწამები ზაზა წიკლაური – ასეთი სისასტიკე ვერ აიტანა ისეთმა პირწავარდნილმა პუტჩისტმაც კი, როგორიც იყო იმდროინდელი უშიშროების მინისტრი ირაკლი ბათიაშვილი და ამის გამო გადადგა…


ნაწამები ნემო ჭანტურია

GEORGIA 1992: Elections and Human Rights

British Helsinki Human Rights Group
www.bhhrg.org
22 St. Margaret’s Road, Oxford OX2 6RX,
Electronic mail: contact@bhhrg.org, telephone: +44 1865 439483, FAX: +44 1865 439483
GEORGIA 1992: Elections and Human Rights

Torture admitted by Eduard Shevardnadze 

The case of Zaza Tsiklauri is a cause cеlеbre in Georgia. Irakli Batiashvili, the Minister of Intelligence and Information (the former KGB), has resigned in protest against the torture of Tsiklauri and his incapacity to stop it. These facts were confirmed by Mr. Shevardnadze at his press conference on 12th October when he was asked by a British Helsinki Group representative to permit human rights activists, journalists, diplomats and elections observers to see the condition of prisoners in prisoners in Tbilisi Central Prison. Although Mr. Shevardnadze gave his permission, none of those present took up the offer and it was left to four members of the British group to visit Zaza Tsiklauri the next morning.

Tsiklauri, Zaza – b.14 October, 1961; married with 2 children. Lecturer in Physics at the Technical University, Tbilisi. His brother was prefect of Kazbeki under Gamsakhurdia. Michael Ochs of the US Congressional Helsinki Commission had already visited some detainees accused of “terrorism” in the Tbilisi Central Prison, but he was the only other observer to have shown any direct interest in human rights issues.

Mr. Ochs also questioned Eduard Shevardnadze about human rights abuses and his attitude towards his political opponents at his press conference on 12 October. Other observers showed no apparent concern about the issues raised, though the German chargе d’affaires, Hans-Peter Nielsen, complained to Mark Almond that his question about the detention and mistreatment of Zaza Tsiklauri, was an “inappropriate intrusion on the separation of powers”, adding “You would not put such a question to Chancellor Kohl, would you?”

Some indication of the political conflicts within the current Georgian rеgime was given by the difficulty which we had in arranging to see Zaza Tsiklauri despite President Shevardnadze’s agreement. One official told us that Mr. Tsiklauri was such a dangerous terrorist that it would be impossible for us to risk seеing him.

We had also asked to see Lia Beruashvili, a journalist editing the samizdat newspaper Kartuli Azri (Georgian Thought) who was arrested a few days before the election on a charge of terrorism, but despite Mr. Shevardnadze’s permission it proved impossible to see her.

Our arrival at the Tbilisi Central Prison on the morning of 13 October in the company of the procurator investigating the Tsiklauri case, Ansor Bangashvili, seemed to cause some consternation, since the prison gates were first opened, then shut again, before reopening to let us enter. In addition to the uniformed prison guards, we were eyed as we entered by a group of young men in plain-clothes armed with guns or staves. The nature of the relationship between these young men and the prison authorities was unclear. More alarming was the impression that they gave of having authority over the prisoners which was not subject to official control.

The four members of the Group (Christine Stone, Dr. Richard Latcham, Mark Almond and Alastair Macleod, who acted as interpreter) met Zaza Tsiklauri in the office of the prison governor on the morning of 13 October. Despite our request to speak to Mr. Tsiklauri alone in the absence of officials, Procurator Bangashvili, insisted on remaining in the room although two other officials did leave. His presence undoubtedly inhibited Mr. Tsiklauri’s behavior and answers to our questions. Furthermore it was clear that he had not been informed of whom he was to meet or the purpose of our visit. He was clearly apprehensive on entering the room and unsure of our purpose. We were, he told us, the first non-Georgians whom he had seen since his capture on 7 August.

When we met Tsiklauri he was still able to walk only with the aid of crutches. The doctor in our group, Richard Latcham, M.D., was unable to give him a full examination but noted the poor setting of his broken ankles and fractured left-arm. He also had a recent scar over his right eye and burns/scaldings on his lower legs. (The rest of his body was covered and it is impossible to say in what condition the clothed parts of his body were in.) It was clear that he could not rest weight on his left leg. Dr. Latcham found the bandaging of the ankle clean but the setting of the fracture inadequate.

Such was Zaza Tsiklauri’s poor physical and mental condition that there could be no doubt about his mistreatment. Ironically, although the torture of Mr. Tsiklauri had already been admitted by the Georgian authorities , he himself was so intimidated by his experiences and unsure of the conditions and purpose of our visit that he insisted that his injuries were the result of a car crash in which he was involved while attempting to evade arrest! He was unwilling to be photographed so we were unable to have pictorial evidence of his physical condition. In reply to the question where he lived, Tsiklauri was unable to remember his home address and replied that he lived in the prison. His only request was that he should be moved to the prison hospital.

Tsiklauri was still being interrogated though “now mainly during the day”. He was not able or willing to pass on information about the conduct of his interrogations, but there is a general admission by the authorities that it had been particularly brutal in its early phases.

Such was Mr. Tsikaluri’s condition that we wondered whether it was the result of the use of drugs that had reduced him to this state of lassitude. Dr. Latcham had visited the prison the day before and had been able to see what drugs were available in the prison hospital store. The only drugs available in any quantities were Benzodiazepines (tranquillisers), but Tsiklauri showed none of the symptoms of tranquilliser abuse. He showed the only drugs which he was then taking – Valerian, an old-fashioned sedative. He was not taking sufficient quantities to have reduced him to his depressed condition. Dr. Latcham was led to the conclusion that Tsiklauri’s cowed and depressed state was not the result of the forced administration of mind-altering drugs, but of his physical maltreatment over the preceding weeks.

Tsiklauri has yet to be charged with any crime. When we asked the Procurator what he had done, we were told that that was what the investigation would find out. Informally, the accusation against him is of third degree terrorism, i.e., neither that he planned a terrorist outrage nor that he carried out an outrage, but that Tsiklauri was associated in an as yet to be defined way with people responsible for first or second degree terrorism. The procurator suspected him of being involved in some way in the plot to blow up Dzhaba Ioseliani on 13 June, 1992.


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