POLITICS
Remember, You Are under the Bricks of Special Services
09 February, 2012

Head of Rock-Club under the pressure of Special Services

From the TV program called Without Accreditation hosted by its author, well-known journalist Shalva Ramishvili, the public witnessed the result of the failed operation conducted by the Constitutional Security Department (CSD) of MIA. i.e. a person unsuccessfully recruited spying. Officers of the Special  Services who tried to “enroll” Ekaterine Lemonjava, Head of the Rock Club situated on the Rustaveli Avenue, resorting to physical force and blackmailing. Yet, they failed. Even though their

“victim” signed the collaboration contract, the next moment she went and informed the public about the incident.

The CSD officers explained to Ekaterine Lemonjava that they were interested in the persons frequenting her club and requested her to supply them the information. The club is visited by many well-known faces; such as famous writers Dato Turashvili and Lasha Bugadze, musician Lado Burduli and others – almost by all those who distance themselves from politics but sometimes still express their opinions about the political events taking place in Georgia.
It seems the CSD guys made a plain mistake. They could not guess that Lemonjava was a bad ‘material’ for an agent. They did not think either, what to do in case if “their victim” broke the silence and publicly disclosed their felony. When the lady-loves-rock turned up in the CSD office with Shalva Ramishvili, one of the officers was getting out of a lift and on seeing the unexpected guests, could not come up with anything else but to run away and thus confirm his crime. It appears the Special Services have not changed their approach to the society and continues to hunt down on their own population just like the KGB was doing in the Soviet times.
Ekaterine Lemonjava: I started to run the club three years ago. Maybe, Special Services are present at our concerts too. The well-known rock-man Robi Kukhianidze said that he would notice the guy who I and Shalva encountered in the CSD office at his concerts. It is no surprise as both CSD office and the rock club are located inside the same building.


Q: When did the first attempt to recruit you take place?
A: I think it was done not on the order of the MIA bosses. Rather, those three guys acted on their own initiative. They failed to calculate my behavior properly. On Wednesday, 25 January, when I was leaving the club, they entered the premises, took positions at my both sides – one even laid his hand on my shoulders – and took me away by force. I demanded their IDs and explanations about what was going on. They replied that they were taking me only a bit away to ask me something. We entered a lift and went up. They assumed very serious appearances, with faces looking frozen into the time and space. I remarked that all these reminded me of Hollywood movies. One of them responded through his clenched teeth that I could have been in a better situation  if it were a movie, not a reality. We entered a room. They did not give me time even to sit, instantly getting offensive and swearing at me.
Q: Why did they do that?
A: They said they were annoyed by the noise coming out of the rock club. Every time I was about to answer, they would shout at me refusing me the right to put questions myself. They ordered me only to give answers to their questions and to do so only on their permission. In fact, they were not demanding anything. They were just swearing. Suddenly, they stopped the offensive attitude, turned sweat on me, asking to write a letter vouching that no more noise would come out of the club. I tried to assure them but they would not let me explain anything. Then I exclaimed that there was no need in letter because I could simply close down the club. They rejected this offer with an excuse that they were interested about certain visitors of my club. Next thing they did was another demand to write a letter; this time it was about my commitment to collaborate with the Special Services. The text read as follows: ‘I – Ekaterine Lemonjava agree to voluntarily collaborate with the Ministry of Internal Affairs in secret’. I got even the code name: “Rokera”. They threatened that they would not let me out of the room if I did not sign the letter. I thought that I could not change anything by refusing and staying there. So, I signed the letter. I suspect that everything that was happening in that room was secretly observed by a fourth guy. I signed the letter and stood up. They stopped me for a while but a moment later the guy – whom I recognized – allowed me to leave saying I was free to go. They warned me that if I said anything about the incident anywhere, I should blame only myself for what would befall on me. Once I got free, I called up Shalva Ramishvili. I met him the next day. We decided to go to the place to record a video. We went up to the fourth floor where we encountered the guy who was most active in the attempts to enroll me. Afterwards, the former Public Defender Sozar Subari held a press conference highlighting the incident. On 27 January, I submitted a complaint to the Prosecutor’s Office accompanying it with the video shot in the CSD office. I could not do anything else. I am 37 years old. I have mother and brother. I do not rule out that they will get threats. Yet, I hope that they’ll be sensible enough not to do it.
Q: During these days, have they phoned and threatened you?
A: No, they have not. Yet, police is constantly at our eye-sight, near the club.  Sometimes they call on as if randomly. That way, they are trying to scare me. Now I always move in the company of my guards because current silence of the Special Services may imply the brewing trouble.
Q: Do you think about relocating the club?
A: They can reach me anywhere I go. I do not want to shut down the club. It’s the only place where anyone can come, play, get royalty and bring delight to the public.
Q: Some say that you are harassed because of your membership in the Bidzina Ivanishvili’s political unity Georgian Dream…
A: On 19 January I became a supporter – not a member - of Georgian Dream. Two months earlier I received a phone call from CSD. They were swearing and demanding that the club noise should not reach their upper floors. ‘Remember, you are under the bricks of Special Services,’ – they pointed out. I wrote to them that they can present arguments against me in the court. Cannot I have my own conviction? Cannot I support a public movement of my choice? Nobody can prohibit me from such things… On 11 February the club will be hosting a protest concert. We are inviting the entire CSD. We hope they will live up to our expectations.

Print