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Young Journalists from Gori Were Arrested In Tskhinvali

23.12.2006
Tskhinvali.pngSeveral days ago, students of the Journalistic Faculty in the Gori State University, who were probates for the local newspapers, 'Kartlis Khma'(Voice of Kartli) and 'Khalkhis Gazeti' (People's Newspaper), were arrested in the streets of Tskhinvali. After a several-hour-detention, they were released safely; however, the films of their cameras were seized.

Rezo Nadiradze said that "One of our lectures was missing and I had an idea of going to Tskhinvali. Previously, Irakli Okruashvili could not enter there. Only two students supported my idea. The rest of them said, we had no chance and our attempt might finish with accident."

On December 13, young journalists Rezo Nadiradze, a photo correspondent of "Khalkhis Gazeti" and Landa Birtvelishvili and Nana Gogiashvili, correspondents for the "Kartlis Khma" arrived in Tskhinvali. Linda Birtvelishvili said that the aim of their secret arrival in Tskhinvali was to observe the situation there and to take photos of the town.

Birtvelishvili said that "We wanted to take photos of the streets in Tskhinvali. Then we planned to select best of them and hold an exhibition with the title "War and Peace". We arrived in the town peacefully. Taking the last photo near the memorial of the heroes in the World War II, Tskhinvali District militiamen arrested us. They took us to the militia station."

Nana Gogiashvili said that "The militiamen spoke in Russian, though they knew Georgian very well. We broke one of the cameras and hid the film. However, they seized the rest two."

Birtvelishvili: "Militiamen asked us whether we were journalists. We answered them that we were students of the Law Faculty at the Gori University. They searched our identity cards and student cards. They kept us for two hours in the custody. One of them told us if we wanted to arrive there, we should have arranged our arrival either with them or with peace-keepers. When they took us to the neutral territory, we applied the Georgian peace-keepers for help. However, our soldiers treated us more rudely than theirs."

Saba Tsitsikashvili, Gori

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