Prison for finding bible
12 May, 2011
Prison for finding bible

Letter from Saingilo

The letter was delivered by two young people. To avoid unnecessary problems for them back home, we decided not to reveal their identities.


“On 18 April this year, Georgian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Teimuraz Sharashenidze and his deputy Gela Giorgadze paid a visit to our village Aliabad. The villagers have plenty of problems. So, we were looking forward to meeting the Ambassador. For years, we have been asking for setting up of a Georgian k

indergarten and a school in the village. We are even deprived of giving Georgian names to our children. They imposed this prohibition on us in 1996(!); besides, they forcefully changed our surnames in early 20th century. For decades we are requesting to return our original surnames but to no avail. Azeries are building mosques in Georgia but building a single church in Azerbaijan is an immense hassle. We request attention of Georgian Authorities and hope that they will help us. It is a great disappointment for us that our hopes always remain unfulfilled. Is there no single person among you who care about us?”
The story of the Ingilo youth is heart-breaking. We feel obliged to share it with our readers:
A: “They took away passports from the population and returned them with changed names! After altering the surnames they deprived us of Georgian names! When a child is born in Azerbaijan, the parents are given a list of Muslim names to choose from it. If you refuse, they won’t issue a birth certificate to them. There are a lot of such children in our village by now. They turned six but cannot go to school. Due to such conditions the number of pupils decreased drastically. They go from family to family prior to September “advising” parents not to take their children to a Georgian school, or else they to find  problems. It can be, for example, a problem to find a job or the danger of getting fired. That is why Georgian schools are increasingly lacking pupils. They will not open new classes for only 7-8 children. Sea of Mosques is being built in Georgia, and no one blocks Azeries from doing it. However, in Azerbaijan you will get jailed even if they find the Bible or a New Testament with you!
Q: Is there a law that prohibits carrying the Bible or the New Testament?
A: What is law for Azeri bureaucrats? They can do anything to you. When the Azeri President or other delegation visits Georgia, thousands of Azeries meet them and wave Azerbaijan flags. But here if they find a Georgian flag with you, they will make everything to keep you in prison. Once I was in Baku with my one-year old son. The boy had a fillet on his head in the form of the Georgian flag. They detained us just for it. They started to question us aggressively why we were there, who we were and so on. They were angry, demanding how I dared to attach the Georgian flag fillet to my child in Baku. Perhaps you don’t believe that such things happen somewhere but unfortunately they are real. It’s a doleful reality.
They found a Georgian flag with my three friends and all of them were arrested and given 10-day administrative punishment – of course formally they were accused of a different misdemeanor. It couldbe hooliganism or drugs – in the latter case they would plant  drugs in your pocket. Or alternatively, they would put a cow in your yard and swoop on you in the morning to get you handcuffed for a make-believe robbery. But most painful is the behavior of Georgian officials. They have none of state-minded approach to our travail.
We tried to get in touch with the Georgian Ambassador in Azerbaijan but succeeded only to talk with the First Secretary of the Embassy, press attache Kakha Abuladze who made the following comment:
A: It’s absolutely true that the citizens with Azeri surnames are disallowed from reverting to their Georgian surnames. But they cannot do it to the people with Georgian surnames. The problem is the fact that Ingilos cannot self-identify themselves. If you ask them whether they are Georgians or Azeries, they reply that they are Ingilos.
Q: Is there such a law in Azerbaijan?
A: Yes, there is. The Public Register has it. It was this very topic discussed at the meeting held in the school. Quite on the contrary – the Ambassador advised them to revert to the surnames of their ancestors; identify themselves as Georgians; in that case they won’t be subjected to the proscription of Georgian names. In this our embassy is ready to help them as it is our duty.
Q: But they cannot regain their surnames!
A: We told them many times to write a formal collective complain so that we’ll be able to start the formal case. Without the collective complain we cannot do anything. They say they are afraid of prosecution if they complain. What can we do?
P.S. In the feudal era Saingilo was the part of Georgia, namely, its eastern part -  Kakheti Region. Now it is an Azeri territory. The word “Saingilo” came to use in the 19th century to denote the area inhabited by forcibly Islamized Georgians or so called Ingilos. The word Ingilo in Turkish means something like “newly converted to true faith”. In early medieval centuries the area of Saingilo used to be a part of a Georgian Province Hereti. In the 11th century it was incorporated in the Georgian region of Machi Princedom, part of Kakheti Kingdom. In the 16th-17th centuries, political changes in Kakheti Kingdom, continuous Ottoman and Persian aggression and incursions of Dagestan feudalist raiders wreaked havoc to the area, demeaning it economically and politically. The number of local Georgian population was diminished and replaced by Tsakhurs and Avars from Daghestan. Simultaneously, Georgians were forced to adopt Muslim faith. In time, Saingilo lost links to Kakheti Kingdom. In the current administrative division, Saingilo covers Belakani, Zakatala and Kakhi districts of Azerbaijan.

 

Print
Other Stories
Georgian President Salome Zourabicvili Visits Marneuli Checkpoint
Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili got acquainted with the existing situation at the checkpoint established at the entrance to the Marneuli Municipality
The US is providing $1.1 mln in health funding to Georgia
The United States is providing $1.1 million in health funding to Georgia
 EU Ambassador on Covid-19 in Georgia
EU Ambassador Carl Hartzell congratulated Georgia on its effective covid-19 response and urged everyone to take care of each other.
Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger Praises Georgia For Fight Against COVID-19
Republican Congressman from Illinois Adam Kinzinger Praises Georgia For Fight Against COVID-19. He posted is statement of Twitter.
Georgia is Ready To Declare Emergency Situation Any Time
The government is technically ready for a state of emergency today, we can announce it tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, but of course, it is not a goal itself ”Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia said
Mikheil Saakashvili answers Vladimir Putin’s comments
Former president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili answered Russian President Vladimir Putin’s comment about himself.
Germany welcomes agreement between parties in Georgia
A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (10 March) on the agreement reached between the political parties in Georgia on crucial electoral law amendments.
US Embassy releases text of Memorandum of Understanding between Georgian political parties on electoral system
The US Embassy to Georgia has released the text of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the opposition and the government today.
Ambassador Degnan speaks about Preventing Violence against Women in Politics and Elections
Today Ambassador Kelly C. Degnan delivered remarks during the Meeting on Preventing Violence against Women in Politics and Elections
Annual Address by H.E. Salome Zourabichvili, President of Georgia, to the Parliament of Georgia
President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili delivered an annual report to the parliament today. Georgian Journal provides the president’s full speech, as it was said:
Gakharia gave Pashinyan a Kazbegi shepherd
Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia gifted the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan a Kazbegi Shephard
Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan visits Georgia
Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan will visit Georgia on March 3-4.
How Has Ivanishvili's Fortune Changed Since Last Week
The combined fortunes of the world’s 500 richest people fell by $444 billion as the coronavirus continued to spread
"The Country is protected"-The President of Georgia, Zourabichvili
The President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili met with the Minister of Refugees, Labor, Health and Social Affairs Ekaterine Tikaradze and Head of the National Center for Disease Control Amiran Gamkrelidze
Former President Saakashvili about Coronavirus Spread in Georgia
Georgia's former president Mikheil Saakashvili makes an official statement on his Facebook page
Meeting of CoE Committee of Ministers to be held in Strasbourg instead of Tbilisi
The meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe will be held in Strasbourg instead of Tbilisi
Russian FM Calls Georgian Journalists "SICK"
The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, called the Georgian Journalists in Geneva "Sick"
Estonian MP Marko Mihkelson discuses Georgia’s politics with Georgian Journal
How do the current political processes in Georgia look like from the perspective of one of the main friends of this country, Estonia? Are Georgia's foreign goals relevant to its European and Western counterparts?
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia Publishes an Article in The Washington Times
The Washington Times publishes the article of Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia titled "Georgia deserves membership in NATO."
99 years After the Soviet Occupation of Georgia
On February 25, 1921, Tbilisi was occupied by the 11th Red Army and Georgia became a part of the Russian Soviet Empire
Letter of the Georgian People to the Free World
The citizens of Georgia have written a letter to the West, appealing for help in defending the freedom of Georgian people
Georgia marks two years since the tragic death of Archil Tatunashvili
Today Georgia marks two years since the tragic death of Archil Tatunashvili.
Russia Denies Cyber-Attack Against Georgia
Russian Foreign Ministry has denied the allegations that it carried out a cyber-attack against Georgi
Lasha Talakhadze Wins the Best Male Lifter Title
Georgian weightlifter Lasha Talakhadze has earned his third straight title of the Best Male Lifter in an International Weightlifting Federation poll
European Countries, US and UK Condemn Russian Cyber-Attack Against Georgia
The UK, Georgia and international partners have exposed the GRU’s – Russia’s military intelligence service – responsibility for a number of significant cyber-attacks against Georgia
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
28.03.2020
29.03.2020
USD
1
USD
3.2896
3.2896
EUR
1
EUR
3.6232
3.6232
GBP
1
GBP
4.0330
4.0330
RUB
100
RUB
4.2168
4.2168
Other Stories
On 26 May, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, joined celebrations in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi
Violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Assad regime has been strictly criticized
Exactly one year ago, Georgia was granted visa-free travel with the European Union.
Georgia’s ex-president president Mikheil Saakashvili's supporters managed to free detained Mikheil Saakashvili in the center of Kiev.
The US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly congratulates Georgia on Independence Day.
The regulations on the introduction of visa-free travel for citizens of Georgia have been officially signed in Brussels.
The entire Georgia is involved in Secret Santa game, which means that people are sending gifts to each other secretly
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is taking part in NATO Ministerial underway in Brussels, Belgium.
A special squad has been mobilized at the 48th polling station in Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli region.
Two politicians in Georgia have come to blows during a live TV debate ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, Euronews reports.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
3.2896
EUR
1
EUR
3.6232
GBP
1
GBP
4.0330
RUB
100
RUB
4.2168