Photo correspondent detained for alleged spying
14 July, 2011
Photo correspondent detained for alleged spying

 

“Every journalist of us must go to the Constitutional Security Department to confess we all are spies”

I was stunned to learn that my friend and colleague Giorgi Abdaladze was arrested on the spying allegation. It was revealed that together with other detainees he was supplying information to an intelligence service of a certain country.

Alleged spying of photo reporter Giorgi Abdaladze surprised me more than an accusation of trying to dig a Bombay-London tunnel. I went to all lengths to imagine my friend as a spy but failed. I saw him three weeks prior to the day of his arrest. The 26 May wounds were still healing. Giorgi too was coughing. He said it started that night. He was telling me the story of his poisoning with tear gas and how he intuitively found his way to Kashweti Church with his eyes and mouth shut. Only there he put on the gas mask he was carrying in his pocket.

 

When he came to senses, he set up the photographic camera and returned to the scene. He could not have done otherwise. He had to be at every hot spot, where you need courage to do the job. He did not change during the last 12 years since the day when I started working on Media Palitra Holding and got to know him. Very soon after our befriending, Giorgi suffered from severe head and face bruises caused by the truncheons of Shevardnadze’s execution forces headed by Temur Mghebrishvili. Next, he turned up in a Tskhinvali prison after he tried to fulfill his professional duty in Ergneti. Only interference of Media Palitra Management saved him from prison.

During our last meeting before his arrest, Giorgi was recalling the early night events of 26 May: “We, reporters of the state structures did a good job. The Special Forces were not interfering. We were recording everything.” May be today somebody is bashing his head against the wall for the fault of giving green light to reporters of state structures.

We, at the Media Palitra nicknamed him “Paparazzi” for his hunch and sharp eye. So, when I try to imagine Paparazzi as a spy, what strikes my mind is an odd thing. It’s his photos of Gori bombing and other August war episodes. These photos travelled around the globe familiarizing everybody in the world with the violent August events in Georgia. Giorgi was risking his life when he took them. Any moment he could have become a target of enemy. Yet, he never stepped back because Georgia needed it. Why or how can a man be a spy if he loves his or her homeland? Convince me if you can! Otherwise, I will interpret his arrest as another stark warning to all of us – journalists, and I will view myself as the next victim tomorrow!

According to the lawyer of Gia Abdaladze, he is accused of harming the interests of Georgia, supplying all kinds of information to a certain organization which was working under the intelligence services of one of the countries. The case is classified. It foresees imprisonment from 8 to 12 years; but why, for doing what?

P.S. Here is a solution: all independent journalists must go to the Constitutional Security Department and confess that we are spies, and that we were transferring photos and messages to foreign information agencies, even talking to them on the phone. These all make us perfectly legal targets of spying accusations. Can they arrest all of us then? Cannot we alleviate the situation of our colleagues at least in this way?

 

Other Stories
Adjara Hosts Diplomatic Tour
For the fourth time, following the initiative of the Georgian Foreign Ministry, foreign ambassadors from about 75 countries went on a diplomatic
The Riga Consequences: From Hopes to Skepticism
Georgian Journal has sat down with Eugene Kogan, a political analyst based in Vienna and an expert on security in the Caucasus
Czech Labor Minister’s Take on Georgia’s Employment Dilemma
Michaela Marksova, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic, has recently visited Georgia. Within the framework
Abandon Ship! - Is the National Movement No Longer United?
“Those who have left the party are simply rats fleeing the ship. I warn the parliamentary majority, the government and personally
Georgian and Lithuanian flags symbolically united in Vilnius to mark Georgia's Independence Day
In celebration of Georgia's Independence Day, Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaitė has published a picture of a giant Georgian flag
Georgians left beyond the barbed wire fences – Diplomats visit the occupation zone
Participants of a diplomatic tour have visited Khurvaleti Village, which is located near the occupation line.
“I would like to frankly congratulate you on Independence Day” – Obama’s letter to Georgia’s Prime Minister
U.S. President Barack Obama congratulates Georgian PM Irakli Gharibashvili on Independence Day of Georgia.
On a train bound for Batumi – Former ministers' informal and pleasant journey
A photo recently published on social media depicts members of Free Democrats party on their way to Batumi by train.
"Sakartvelos Gaumarjos!" - Ambassador Norland expresses his support for Georgian tennis player
U.S. ambassador to Georgia Richard Norland published several photos on his Facebook page yesterday, accompanied
Georgia’s PM calls on citizens living abroad to support Eurovision contestant Nina Sublatti
Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Gharibashvili has called upon all citizens currently living abroad to support and vote for their compatriot participating
Professor Zhordania – 120
There was a great Georgian of the 20th century – Professor Ioseb Zhordania, father of the science of reproductology and the founder
Riga Summit Ceremonial
The Riga summit’s agenda will focus on key issues such as: state building and rule of law; digital single market and e-commerce; energy security
This summit will be critical for both the EU and Georgia - OP-ED from the Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Georgia
When the leaders of 34 countries meet on 21-22 May for the Riga Eastern Partnership Summit, we will be confronting geopolitical realities
How we should (not) surrender to the Russians…
According to the latest polls conducted by U.S. National Democratic Institute, the amount of Eurasian Union supporters in Georgia has doubled.
In Defiance of Putin: Has Turkey really invited US to join NATO?
“We support the extension of NATO. Now we have four aspiring countries: Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Georgia.
NATO Parliamentary Assembly proposes granting Georgia MAP
The NATO Parliamentary Assembly has called on NATO member states' governments and parliaments to grant Georgia a Membership Action Plan
Georgia’s President and his stunningly dressed wife welcome their Austrian counterparts on a red carpet
The President of Georgia and his wife have welcomed their Austrian counterparts to Georgia.
“Georgia hopes over Europe turn to disappointment” – Financial Times
Financial Times has published an article with the title “Georgia hopes over Europe turn to disappointment”.
Meeting of minds - Shevardnadze grasps George Bush's hand in a tense conversation
This photo depicts Georgia's ex-President Eduard Shevardnadze, former diplomat Gela Charkviani and ex-President of the U.S. George W. Bush
Of Selfies, Football Scores and New Government
87 for, 38 against – after almost twenty-four hours of discussion and debate, Georgian Parliament has given Irakli Gharibashvili’s renewed
“The Solution must come from the dialogue. There is no other way” - Exclusive interview with PACE President Anne Brasseur
Mrs. Anne Brasseur, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), has recently paid an official two-day
“Europe is with us”
The Mission of Georgia to the European Union (EU), in collaboration with the European Neighbourhood Policy Chair of the College
“We will offer Georgia more support” - Euro Commissioner Johannes Hahn
"The European Commission will allocate 150 million to Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine," said Euro Commissioner Johannes Hahn to Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili
So-called People's Republic of Donetsk recognizes independence of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali
The so-called People's Republic of Donetsk has recognized independence of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region.
President of Georgia lays a wreath on Unknown Soldier’s grave
President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili has visited Vake Park in relation to the 70th anniversary of victory in WWII.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.3033
EUR
1
EUR
2.5177
GBP
1
GBP
3.5227
RUB
100
RUB
4.4041
Other Stories
Video footage of Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania’s interview posted by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on its official webpage
If nothing extraordinary happens, Georgia is bound to have its first female Minister of Defense. Actually, if not for the President’s decision to take his time before
Georgian MP Guguli Maghradze has made a speech at the European Council Assembly. The recording of it was published
Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili, during his two-day visit to the Vatican met Pope Francis along with his wife Maka Chichua.
Georgia’s Prime Minister, Irakli Gharibashvili has visited the Vazisubani settlement where he personally offered his deepest condolences to the family of murdered
Ukrainian Patriarch Filaret has rewarded 29 Georgian volunteers for their sacrifice and love for Ukraine with medals. The ceremony was attended by Georgia's fomer President
Former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili speaks to CNN's Brooke Baldwin about Russian President Vladimir Putin.
On the 27th of January, Tbilisi’s Mayor Davit Narmania was observing the process of cleaning an underground walkway near Tbilisi Concert Hall.
"We want to transform Georgia into real European state"
Irakli Gharibashvili, the Prime Minister of Georgia along with Eka Siradze-Delone, the ambassador of Georgia to France, were met by Francois Hollande at Elise’s palace,