TORTURE, HUMILIATION AND PHYSICAL ABUSE UNDER SAAKASHVILI’S REGIME
04 July, 2013
TORTURE,  HUMILIATION AND PHYSICAL ABUSE UNDER SAAKASHVILI’S REGIME
The UN Special Commission for Human Rights had set up ad-hoc international working group on investigating severe cases of human right violations in Chile during General Pinochet’s Junta rule in the 1970’s. The group concluded that many prisoners and other detainees had been tortured by the Junta’s special service, DINA. Some of the detainees were murdered. The much dreaded organ of terror made use of a variety of methods of physical abuses, including rape and psychological tortures. These forms were
described in the group’s findings and have since become a report in cases of systematic human rights violation, and they are now widely recognized as a violation of international law and norms of human rights:
Prisoners Deprived of Sleep and Food

Murder simulation, “mock executions”, holding prisoners separately in isolation, solitary confinement, individual holding cells where it was possible to review how prisoners had been executed (hanged or shot down) or placed next to morgues. They underwent relentless mockery –the prisoners were compelled to drink certain liquids and they were told that the liquid was a poison and they would suffer severely and come to a slow and painful end.
Now, the said list is well known throughout the world, and in recent years it has been refined and sanitized under the guise of a “beacon of democracy,” in the case of Georgia. In some instances, such tortures have been applied to the members of private companies as a means to remove certain persons. Human rights activities need to take a closer look at what has happened under the previous authoritarian regime of Mikheil Saakashvili. In spite of all the PR spin and fanfare, hired media consultants, even famous American political scientist Fareed Zakaria has described Georgia as a “non-liberal democracy.” Time is passing and many are asking if it is possible to make direct correlation with the systematic human rights violations, confirmed as crimes from the viewpoint of international law perspectives, and to hold the culprits accountable for their crimes.
My Story
I wish to tell my personal story, and it will reveal what concrete methods of torture and physical abuses were performed by the Counter-Intelligence Department of the MIA of Georgia (who were concrete culprits and who performed those brutal actions: Vano Meskheli, Otar Orjonikidze, Vladimer Zoum badze, Lado Datashvili, Victor Kacheishvili and others. They acted upon direct orders from Vano Merabishvili, Mikheil Saakashvili and others.
Mock Execution: During one of the interrogations, a secret police officer (from the Counter-Intelligence Department of the MIA of Georgia) pulled out a pistol, aimed it at my head, cocked it and pulled the trigger. Thank God, the pistol was loaded with blanks. I still suffer physical and psychological trauma from that.
PTSD: Illegal interrogation at night – it was conducted in the manner of the Soviet KGB in the 1960s and 1970s – I was not allowed to sleep at all for a period of 35 days and subjected to severe physical and psychological abuse, designed to force me to confess to the treason, I was not guilty of. As a result of that torture, I have lost almost all my teeth (they were pulled out during that abuse in 2009), and I have been experiencing terrible nausea and dizziness since 2010 as a result of head trauma.
Intensive use of psychotropic drugs (such as “Scopolamin”during the intense “night interrogations”. The employees at the offices of the prison director Tamaz Meladze and his Deputy Aleko Janjgava delivered full bottles of mineral water (Likani or Nabeglavi), opened them at the place of my interrogation and forced me to drink them till I could consumer no more (water torture).
Incarceration in an underground cell – four times I was put in a wet underground cell, without the elementary hygienic facilities; without water, heat, bath, food, soap or toilet paper and no access to medical treatment, for a period of 40 days.
Extensively Documented
All these things prove to what extent the political enforcers of previous authorities were willing to pursue their illegal objectives. During the night interrogations, political police representatives (led by Deputy Director of the Counter-Intelligence Department of the MIA Otar Orjonikidze, who was fulfilling orders of then Minister of Intelligence Vano Merabishvili and President Mikheil Saakashvili, who mentioned my name several times, and talked about my case at official governmental sessions and public meetings in 2009 and 2012), forced me to give false testimony against more than thirty high-ranking government and opposition figures; for example, Salome Zurabichvili, Nino Burjanadze, Irakli Alasania, Irakli Okruashvili and others. (Those false evidences are kept as criminal case materials – there are a total of seven volumes of it). The said people were labeled as my “allies in espionage”.
Even foreigners were targeted
Political police also tortured me in order to obtain information on foreign diplomats (including American and British ones – Robert Kenety, Ian Lent, Rob Fuller, Bogdan Udriste, Michael Simon, John Anton and one of the high-ranking official from the US Administration) and overseas citizens, residing in Georgia, including an American citizen, Mr. Jeffrey Silverman. They tortured me in connection with that man; they wanted to know about his work as a journalist and his military background. I was severely tortured in order to get his contact information and to find out his actual whereabouts. Employees of the MIA wanted to abduct him; however, their efforts failed. They had even organized a “death squad.” It has been confirmed that the political police intended to execute him at some secluded place because of his foreign citizenship and his popularity abroad, including his press contacts. His investigations on human rights violations, alleged war crimes in July and August of 2008, including killing of civilians, use of cluster munitions, and established routes of arms smuggling and narcotics trade, sanctioned by the government, made him unpopular with the members of Georgian government and organized crime (mafia).
My story is only one case study among thousands of other instances of human rights abuse in Georgia, including murders and misappropriation of property. To investigate these crimes, a special international commission should be set up. It must conduct a full investigation of those acts of brutality, committed by those ruthless men against the Georgian people and foreigners alike – only then we will understand their true motivation. The people, who are found guilty must be brought to justice and the historic record set straight. Such government must never be allowed to come to power
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