Monday, 10 August 2009

Georgian Opposition Leader Nino Burjanadze Denounces Saakashvili

The tie-munching Saakashvili has been bleating his propaganda through op-eds in virtually all of Europe's broadsheet newspapers in the last few days. You only need to read the reader comments to his articles (despite the best efforts of the Guardian censors to screen out any dissent, including purging my comment just because it contained the phrase "tie-muncher") to see that the people of Europe have not been fooled by his lies.

Meanwhile, Saakashvili's former colleague Nino Burjanadze gave an interview to Spanish newspaper El Pais in which she denounced Saakshvili's continuing infringement of democratic norms.

I have translated some extracts from the interview below :

After the visit of the US Vice-President Joseph Biden, Saakashvili said that democratic reforms are deepening in Georgia. The opposite happened. Since Biden’s visit, everything has got worse. There are illegal arrests and more than 100 people in jail with false accusations of possessing drugs or weapons. They are judged in 15 minutes and everyone knows that they are political prisoners, party activists, punished for participating in demonstrations. In early August various members of our party were kidnapped and beaten (Democratic Movement – United Georgia). Look at this photograph. It’s like a horror film (shows a torso with two holes which look like the mark left by a giant drill). He was the ex world karate champion, AmirĂ¡n Bitsadze, who was beaten, tortured and shot in the side with a rubber bullet. It happened on the 2nd of August and everyone knows that the special police units did it and it’s not the first time.

Q: Do you feel safe here?

If anything happened to me or my family, there would be a big international scandal. As the ex-head of parliament and ex-acting president, I had a legal right to protection, but Saakashvili took my escort away in January for having crossed over to the opposition. I am now looking after myself, but what about the others? When we published the photo of Bitsadze people couldn’t believe it. His attackers wanted to show that I couldn’t take care of my people and that if they did this to a world karate champion, a giant with colossal strength, they could do the same to anyone. High officials in the police, who are so far unpunished, are linked to the death of one of the organisers of the demonstrations protesting against Saakashvili.

For the president, I am the enemy number one and for him it is very important to discredit me and my party. They approached six states requesting that they investigate whether my husband, who until six months ago was a lieutenant-general working for these authorities, had illegal underworld contacts. They worked hard to try and prove something against him or against me but they didn’t manage it.

...By presenting himself as a Western leader, Saakashvili is discrediting western values in Georgia...

...If Obama supports him like Bush did, the frustration against the West that already exists here will increase further.


***END OF EXTRACTS***

Here's a bit more on this former world karate champion who was beaten up by Saakashvili's thugs.

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